As I have done in previous Lents I am sharing a daily reflection as part of my Lenten discipline. This year I am using the “Wilderness Wanderings” theme compiled by the “Lent Photo a Day” group. The word appointed for today is “Hands.”
Hands. Most people are born with two of them. Some are born with less. Most have five fingers each, though some people are born with less or more. They are simple but so profoundly important. They are the means by which we can touch, grab, and hold. They are also a means to how we can reach out, extend ourselves, and serve.
My day began this morning out in the city of Ridgefield, the central context where I am serving as a congregational mission developer. In a conversation with the city’s mayor earlier this week I discovered that today was Ridgefield’s annual day of service, a day of volunteer projects throughout the city. I knew I had to be a part of that, and convinced Allison to join me. Together with people from all over the community, including a few fellow congregants from Messiah Lutheran Church, we went out and served.
Allison and I, and our friends Nancy and Larry chose to go outside and help in the park with the work of developing the 9-hole disc golf course in the woods surrounding Abrams Park. The course is not yet complete, but this morning we made big strides in laying gravel for pathways, leveling tee boxes, and preparing areas for the baskets or holes.
My hands primarily were on shovels and wheel barrels, lifting the gravel, moving the dirt, and helping spread it. Others’ hands were on pruners, pruning the areas for fairways, while others measured and leveled the tee boxes. Elsewhere, people’s hands cleaned in the library, painted and built at the high school stadium, cleaned up the dog park, planted trees, and helped other neighbors in need around town.
After this time of service, we gathered at the community center in the city for a delicious soup lunch. Our hands grabbing the spoons and providing the food of nourishment, that were first scooped into bowls and cups by other’s hands.
This evening in worship, my hands helped extend the means of grace of the sacrament of Holy Communion. These hands helped pour the wine of the meal, and were matched with the words “This is the blood of Christ, shed for you.” “For you,” two very powerful words. Every time I hear them, or share them, I think of Jesus’ outstretched arms and hands, open for us and all to receive.
These are just a few of things that these hands have done today. I wonder, what have you done with your hands today? How do you use your hands? How do they serve and extend love?