Wednesday, 21 January 2015

Hold my hand

10 Minute Daily Retreat - Read the Daily Gospel with a prayerful heart.
By Melanie Edwards (No. 67)    
Again he entered the synagogue, and a man was there who had a withered hand. They watched him to see whether he would cure him on the sabbath, so that they might accuse him. And he said to the man who had the withered hand, “Come forward.” Then he said to them, “Is it lawful to do good or to do harm on the sabbath, to save life or to kill?” But they were silent. He looked around at them with anger; he was grieved at their hardness of heart and said to the man, “Stretch out your hand.” He stretched it out, and his hand was restored. The Pharisees went out and immediately conspired with the Herodians against him, how to destroy him. (Mark3:1-6)
'...a man was there who had a withered hand...
and [Jesus]said to the man,
 “Stretch out your hand.” (Mark 3:1-6)
What kinds of hands have you held? One wrinkly with age, one that grasps on tight in fear, one that is small and trusting, one that is dirty and grimy, one that gently caresses, one that squeezes tight………. Holding the hand of another communicates your presence and shows that you are willing to be alongside them, no matter what their situation in life may be.
Imagine the loneliness of having a hand that no-one wants to hold. This was the situation of the man with the withered hand, yet Jesus transformed his life by restoring his hand. I imagine this would have brought the man out of isolation and into relationship with others again.
In our world today, there are many people who are yearning to have their hands held – lonely elderly people, busy mothers and fathers finding it hard to cope with daily life, refugees and prisoners, young people suffering from depression, the list goes on….
If we see ourselves as Christ’s hands and feet on earth, then it is up to us to reach out and hold the hands of isolated people in our midst. Whose hand are you being invited to hold?

Melanie Edwards

5 minutes: READ the text slowly.
REFLECT on a phrase or word that struck you.
SPEAK to God about your thoughts.
5 minutes: LISTEN to God speak to you.
RESPOND with a prayer that feels right for you.

Next Reflection: Malcolm Davies 23rd January, 2015