Are You a Hand Holder?

       Cyndi and I are hand holders.

       Well, at least I am. I suspect Cyndi mostly puts up with me. I am a lucky man.

       I can’t sit within arm’s length of her without reaching out to her hand. To be honest, it’s one of my disappointments with our current assignments during worship service at our church. Either we are both playing in the orchestra, which isn’t conducive to handholding, or Cyndi is working in the media booth and both her hands are too busy to hold.

       I’m not sure why this is such a big deal for me, but its deeply rooted. Whenever I take the Love Languages quiz my top answer always comes out Physical Touch; I think for me it has more to do with security than affection. I find the world safer and friendlier when we are holding onto each other. Having Cyndi within reach gives me the courage to take on whatever the future brings.

       The reason this has been on my mind is because I read about hand holding in Psalm 73, a psalm about doubt and insecurity, rescue and restoration. Verse 23 says, “But even so, you love me! You are holding my right hand! You will keep on guiding me all my life with your wisdom and counsel;” (TLB) It’s one of my favorite images of God.

       And then I read another of my favorite passage about hand holding, in Psalms 37: “The steps of a man are established by the Lord; and He delights in his way. When he falls, he shall not be hurled headlong; because the Lord is the One who holds his hand.” (37:23-24 NAS). The Psalmist doesn’t promise that we won’t fall, but that that God will keep us from being hurled headlong. That is good news.

       One Sunday morning several years ago, as our family drove through the parking lot on the way to lunch, we saw my friend Scott walking with his wife and little daughter. Scott is an attorney who is about 8 feet tall. He is so tall no one really knows how to measure him. (One time my daughter Katie was trying to see who was taller, me, or my son, Byron. Byron told her, “You are jumping to see the tops of our heads. I don’t think that is a very accurate way to measure.”)

       Here’s the thing. When we saw him that Sunday morning he was holding the hand of his daughter, a toddler just learning to walk. Scott was bent over sideways at the waist in the most awkward position I’ve ever seen so that that his long arm could reach down far enough to hold his little girl’s hand. I can’t imagine how he walked ten steps that way, much less how he made it across the entire parking lot. I would’ve thrown out my back and spent the afternoon in bed.

       It was a great picture of how God holds our hand. Just like that little girl walking proudly we think we’re making our way through life on our own. And, like the little girl who was tripping and stumbling as she went, we don’t fall, or as the psalmist wrote, we aren’t hurled headlong, because someone bigger and stronger is holding our hand.

       Well, I was going to write more about this, but I’ve been away long enough. I need to hunt down Cyndi and get close enough to hold her hand. It’s the best antidote for me for this scary world, and I cannot get enough.


“I run in the path of Your commands, for You have set my heart free.” Psalm 119:32