Sunday, August 2, 2009


"You need hands to hold someone you care for,
You need hands to show that you're sincere.
When you fear nobody wants to know you
You need hands to brush away the tears.

When you hold the brand new baby
You need tender hands to guide them on their way
You need hands to thank the Lord for living
And for giving us this day."
The Sex Pistols

I'm floored every time I think about how strange it is that these lovely words come from a punk rock band that symbolizes the exact opposite of love and peace. But in this song, I think they have captured a very meaningful representation of an important part of our bodies. I've been thinking about the power we hold within our hands. We can reach out to others with an embrace or a handshake and offer our love and friendship. Or, we can strike others, lash out in anger through physical violence and obscene gestures. Holding our hands open in front of us resembles the openness of our hearts, the welcoming we desire to both give and receive.

I have been remembering my dad's calloused hands from years of hard work and repeated daily diabetes testing. I can picture my mom's arthritic hands, gnarled and swollen with pain. I recall with great joy the sweet sensation of my own babies hands wrapped around my finger. All of these hands bring feelings of joy mingled with sadness. But perhaps the hands which have been the most meaningful to me throughout my lifetime, are the beautiful hands of a priest as he caresses the bread within them and through his touch, this simple food becomes God Himself. What a miracle each and every Mass contains through hands which are devoted to God.

I thank you Lord, for the gift of our hands. Help us to use them with great care, remembering that they can carry your love to the world, or they can shut the world out of our lives. I pray that when we hold our hands in prayer to you they will become more holy, more gentle and more loving. I pray that others will see and feel you in the tender touch of our hands. Amen.


  1. I used to listen to the SP's all the time in my wild youth . . . never heard this one, though, that I can recall. Glad it's out there, though. It redeems them quite a bit! I think punk was just poking fun at "the" establishment. Just like hippies? Anyway, thanks for sharing this lyric.
    God bless your hands!!!

  2. This is so beautiful. There is a song out on Klove radio and the song writer says, something like we use one hand to bring you closer and one hand to push you away, too bad I can't lift them up together and praise they name." Or something like that. Makes me pray for repentance for the times I pushed God away but also to think of the times I hold them up in praise.
    And my favorite thing about hands is when you hold a new baby or a little one and open the palm of their hand open and it is so precious. Then think about the Blessed Mother and wether she knew Our Lord would have nails through those little palms one day. Sure makes me think about how precious life is. Wonderful post.
    God bless you!

  3. Have you ever heard the song by Jewel about hands? When she sings "We are God's hands;we are God's eyes" it gives me goosebumps.Like you, my mom's hands are twisted and gnarled and my father has diabetic neuropathy that affects his hands. When my little girl holds my hand,it is like a taste of heaven.Your prayer is beautiful!

  4. Beautifully written, Anne. You are such a poet at heart -- you see the deep connections, the soul-sharp things that birth our humanity and that sob in need of our Saviour.

    I am grateful for your encouraging comments on my blog -- thankful for YOU, Anne.

    May God continue to fill you with His Words, with His Self, so that you may continue blessing others as you do so graciously.

    Susanne :)

  5. How have fed my soul this you so often do:)
    I thought you might like this is unknown...but it ties in well with your post.
    It's called "The Beautiful Hands of a Priest"
    You can find it here: