Laying on of hands

My hands,
Marked and scarred,
Strong and slim,
Bear my life’s experience.

Hands which have held the hands of the dying,
Lifted a child to see into the coffin of a classmate,
Stroked the shaking shoulders of the distraught,
And clung desperately to my beloved.

Hands which have made and played,
Written, created and woven,
Hands which weave patterns in the air,
In counterpoint to the story I speak.

Hands too which have lashed out,
Snatched or slapped in childish anger,
Typed unwise emails in haste,
Posted words which should never have been written,
Waved away what should have been important,
Formed signs which were not signs of God.

All this I hold in my hands,
The loving and the hateful,
The extraordinary and the everyday,
All this I bring to this moment.

But this touch,
This wordless prayer,
Stands alone in eternity,
Unfettered by past or future,
A pausing place, making space
For the almost imperceptible hand of God.

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