STILL HANDS

What are your hands doing right now?

They’re probably not folded peacefully in your lap. My hands are rarely at rest.

Even if I sit down to take a break, my hands reach for something to do.

I pick up and reread a piece of mail. I tidy the table beside my recliner. I search some topic on Google.

“Keep my hands still” never appears on my to-do list, but maybe it should.

Hands accomplish wonderful things. They stroke the heads of our children and place checks into the offering plate. They nurture plants and cuddle pets. They distribute groceries to hungry people at the food pantry. They fold in prayer, and they squeeze our mate’s hand before we go to sleep.

They also accomplish necessary things like steering cars, pouring cereal, changing sheets, and paying bills.

But some things are more enjoyable when performed with quiet, still hands. Listening to relaxing music. Watching a baby sleep. Reflecting upon the goodness of God. Feasting our eyes on beautiful landscapes. Pondering the infinite majesty of God while looking at a full moon or a sky full of stars.

In an email conversation with a friend recently, I commented that when Mary of Bethany sat down with Jesus, her hands were probably folded peacefully in her lap. They were not mending socks or composing a grocery list.

And Scripture tells us that Mary “chose the better thing.”

Notice that in this story recorded in Luke 10:38-42, Jesus did not follow Martha into the noisy kitchen to chat with her while she prepared a meal.

Why do you suppose he conversed with the woman with still, quiet hands rather than the woman with the busy, soapy, sauce-splattered hands?

Was it because he loved Mary more than he loved her sister? Or was it because Mary chose to give Jesus her full attention?

Mary didn’t ask Jesus to follow her into the garden and visit with her while she picked lettuce. She didn’t talk to Jesus with clothespins in her mouth while she hung out the family’s laundry. She didn’t catch up on her dusting while she talked with Jesus.

Mary didn’t multitask on that day at that time.

While Mary spoke alone with Jesus, she did nothing else. Nothing.

Try to picture her serene face as she converses privately with her Lord.

The Bible doesn’t record the conversation Mary and Jesus had, but we can speculate.

I doubt Jesus shouted accusations at her as he shouted them at the hard-hearted spiritual leaders of the day. He certainly didn’t scold her for not helping Martha in the kitchen. I doubt He scolded her for anything.

People who choose to be still and listen to Jesus receive not a scolding, but an outpouring of love and acceptance. Possibly, they receive blessings those of us with busy hands miss.

That was certainly the case with the sisters in Bethany.

Is it possible that Jesus waits for you and me to slow down, rest our hands, and listen to Him?

What are your hands doing right now?

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14 thoughts on “STILL HANDS”

  1. I also have a problem with still hands. My quiet time is when I walk (outside not at the mall) and can enjoy the beauty of God’s world and think without interruption. That is why I am not a mall walker-too many interruptions.

    1. Belva, that is an awesome way to enjoy quiet time. God speaks to all of us through nature, if we are open to “hearing” Him. Thank you for reading and commenting on this piece.

  2. I have just come from walking beside a river. Quiet time really is the best time to take in the beauty and goodness of God. This might be my favorite article to date that you’ve written. Great piece!

  3. Good thoughts for us to ponder, Debbie. It seems my hands are always busy in one way or the other. But they are not busy when I take my outside walks as I ponder, pray, and reflect. “Be still and know that I am God.”

    1. Yes, “outside” is a wonderful place to meditate upon God and His world. Our hands are still except when we point to something and say, “Look at that beautiful landscape God made!”

  4. “People who choose to be still and listen to Jesus receive not a scolding, but an outpouring of love and acceptance. Possibly, they receive blessings those of us with busy hands miss.” Love this. Didn’t have time to comment the first time I read it. Bedridden a good portion of today and grateful for His blessings in the midst of it. Thank you, Debbie.

    1. In this piece, I am once again preaching to myself. Being busy, busy, busy sounds so noble, but I challenge myself and my readers to follow Mary’s example. Choose the better thing: listen to the Lord.

      I am sorry you are sick. I am praying for a quick recovery.

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