holding hands with God

“Love, transparency, and communication”

There are many images we use for God. And often the image or metaphor we use explains how we feel about God at that moment.

We often talk about God being within us, in our hearts. Sometimes we take courage from the poem Footprints, the knowledge that we are not alone on our journey through life.

And then there is the incredibly beautiful image from the Sistine chapel ceiling, of the hand of God outstretched towards Adam, fingers just touching. The connection between God and human.

But for me, the connection is even deeper, more than just fingertips touching. It’s about a depth of knowing. God knows me, I am transparent to Him, He loves me and desires ever deeper communication with me.

One of my favourite Psalms has always been Psalm 139 (well, the first 18 verses! I’m not so keen on the vengeful end, asking God to smite my enemies). The words of this Psalm convey such a deep peace of “knowing” and intimate communication. There is a transparency between the Psalmist and God, and such immensity of love and acceptance. Despite the fact that God knows each one of us completely – even (especially?) the bits we’d rather not admit to – God holds us loving in Her hand.

And there is nowhere we can go that is “away” from God. Wherever we go, wherever life’s journey will take us, whatever we do, whatever we become, God is with us. God is behind us, before us, above us, below us, around us. God holds out His hand to us, always, inviting and offering.

Even there your hand shall lead me, your right hand shall hold me fast.”

To be known this deeply and still be loved is almost beyond human imagining – except that we can glimpse it in the love of a parent for a child. I say “glimpse”, because we don’t know our children really, except as they reveal themselves to us. We don’t know their innermost being, unless they have shared that with us. But we do love them unconditionally, a human reflection of the unconditional way that God loves each of us.

And we are always there for our children. Just as God is always there for, with, and within, us.  

Sometimes, the path can seem lonely. At present, in another lockdown, that may be especially true. And in such unfamiliar times, when “normal” begins to seem like a dream, there can be bewilderment and fear. What next? And reading the papers this past week – “dramatic” would be an understatement given all the events in America and the rising death toll around the world, and the worst daily numbers yet here in the UK. Sometimes it feels like this should surely only happen in some kind of dystopian science fiction.

And yet, we are living it.

But we are not alone.

And I mean that in the best possible sense! Not the science fiction creepy “not alone” sense”

We are transparent to God, and we are deeply loved. And God longs for deeper and more transparent communication with us. It’s not about words. It’s about Being. It’s about holding hands, knowing – deep in our hearts and souls – that we are seen, known, understood, and loved.

And with that knowing comes peace, even in the midst of the storm.

With peace and blessing,
Revd. Talisker

Photo by Roman Kraft on Unsplash