Holding Holy Hands

I sat at my desk toward the end of the day, looking at the beautiful row of flowering pear blossoms outside my office window. As I watched, a couple came out of the hotel next door, heading to the restaurant across the parking lot. She was pleasantly dressed, and wore her gray streaked hair pulled back from her face. He wore jeans and a button- down shirt, strolling comfortably in well -worn boots. They were just an ordinary couple on a trip together, talking easily, on their way to dinner. I was fine with that, not sad or jealous at all. I almost looked away in time, almost got my attention back to my desk, but then I saw it.

They were holding hands.

As they came into closer view, I stared at their interlaced fingers. I watched their arms swing back and forth together in unison, all the way to the door of the restaurant. Even as he reached out to open it in gentlemanly fashion, he didn’t let go of her hand.

It was just a simple moment; it shouldn’t have been a big deal at all. I looked at my own hand, and remembered how Neil used to hold it so often. I twisted my wedding ring around and around on my finger, and the tears rolled uninvited down my cheeks and into my lap.

The tears dried up eventually and with a sigh, I got back to work finishing patient charts and phone calls. By the time I got home an hour later the incident was forgotten, but the sour mood was not. I made a cup of coffee, and puttered around the house.

Then the image of the hands came back to me.

This time though, it wasn’t a couple’s hands I pictured, or even mine and Neil’s. This time it was God’s hands I saw. I remembered a friend sharing how she always pictures God holding tightly to her hand even through life’s worst storms. I imagined Him taking hold of my hand, His grip strong but gentle, and I thought about some of the Scriptures I’d read about His hands. I got out my Bible, and here are the ones I prayed with:

For I am the Lord your God, who grasps your right hand; it is I who say to you, “Fear not; I will help you.” (Isaiah 41: 13)

Those whose steps are guided by the Lord, whose way God approves, may stumble, but they will never fall, for the Lord holds their hand. (Psalm37:23-24)

If I fly with the wings of dawn, and alight beyond the sea, even there will your hand guide me, your right hand hold me fast. (Psalm 139:9-10)

After a while, peace came over me. God was holding tightly to my hand, and I knew once again that even when I feel alone, I am not. Even when I stumble, God won’t let me fall. No matter where I end up or what happens, God’s hand will hold me fast.

His hand is always reaching out, looking to hold yours, too. Can you reach out and catch it?


  1. Colleen,
    Whenever I get an email from your website I stop what I’m doing and read them. No matter what’s going on with the day, your words put things in perspective.
    Thank you friend

    1. Thanks Dianna – I forget too often to keep things in perspective – so I have to keep reminding myself too!

  2. This is so beautiful. Even after 11 years it made me tear up. God does hold our hands and our hearts. Thanks for sharinf. Love you.

  3. I’ve been reflecting a lot about hands. A friend came to my sister in law’s wake back in November and met my Mom. My friend was struck by how soft my mom’s hands were and how she really had the hands of a mother. Then when my mom recently died I reflected on how the disease she had really ate away at her skin and how bruised her hands had become. How quickly things can change. I found dress gloves to put on her hands for the viewing. I did not want to cover her hands since hands are so important and the rosary placed in her hands was so important to her. I reflected on how as a mother her hands helped so many and also had to bear the pain of the difficulties life also brings. She truly did have the hands of a mother. And now one of her hands is in God’s hand and the other is still reaching out to me and the rest of our family with her blessings. And my hand is still being held by the hand of God. Thank you for your reflection. Thank you for the reminder.

    1. Laura, you are the one who taught me this lesson in the first place, and I will always be grateful. Your mom was so lucky to have you!

What do you think? Leave a reply to let me know!