I am a firm believer in the power of Laying of Hands for prayer. The scriptures give us many beautiful images of Jesus laying His loving hands upon the sick and broken; calling upon His Father to heal emotions, souls, and bodies. At our GO Gatherings, we will in an instant when the situation warrants, come in a circle around somebody, lay our hands, and pray in united voice for our Father to heal as only He can. I have one friend whose hands radiate a warmth and energy when she is laying hands for prayer. Another friend texted me today that while she was at the hairdresser “I swear as she was massaging my scalp, Jesus was whispering ‘just relax in these hands serving for me.’” (come on, girls, you know that feeling!)
This week, however, I was challenged to think about the Healing OF Hands… in particular, my hands. I recently have come alongside two separate people to journey with them through their cancer diagnoses and treatments. One is a friend of mine and the other is a co-worker. Both have minimal family support and God’s allowed me to be a part of their journey. I sent an email to my friend, wondering what God was up to in my life that He had brought me to them. What lesson was He teaching me or preparing me for and was I learning it?
She replied with these beautiful words:
“When I think back on the difficult assignments He has given you, my heart breaks for my friend and I want to cry out to Him that it’s too much. But then I can almost picture you patiently helping that mother swaddle her child…picture you cupping the each of each of those children… knowing first hand what a gentle touch you have… and I know how much He needed you to be the one… This may be a bit creepy, but I love your hands… you would lay your hands over mine, and the calm that would wash over me. I know He often gives you just the right words, but I think that it’s your hands that are the real instrument… the instrument by which an intangible God makes His gentleness and comfort tangible. I don’t what it means but over and over again I get the sense to say ‘you have your mother’s hands.’ I think that maybe that’s something between you and Jesus.”
I read these words and almost broke into sobs. I do indeed have my mother’s hands. My sisters have often said they can’t look at my hands because they are exactly the same, even though our mom has been gone 17 years. While my mom had her loving side, there was also a severe harshness that came from her hands as she battled alcoholism and an inner anger that often lashed out at those closest to her.
In the face of the tears welling up, God’s Spirit immediately brought peace to my soul. God’s healing has been miraculous and all encompassing, as He has healed me and my sisters, through our surrender to Jesus. That healing has been passed onto my children and now even my first grandchild. I had to wonder “maybe God’s healing has come so completely that not just a broad generational healing of addictions, abuses, and anger was set free but that the healing included the smallest of details, right down to the details of my hands.”
My prayer time led me to three scriptures involving the hands of the sick, broken, and sinning.
- Matthew 12: Jesus says to the leper “stretch out your hand” and the disease-ridden hand was “completely restored.”
- Luke 8: A man was bound in chains “hand and foot” due to demons. Jesus cast the demons out and left the man “dressed and in his right mind” with the command to “return home and tell how much God has done for you.”
- Mark 14: Seated around the table with His twelve disciples, Jesus announces “one of you will betray me… the one who dips bread into the bowl with me.” Judas holds that bread in his hand and, knowing it is himself, dips into the bowl and Jesus remarkably does not order him from his circle. He allows this sinning friend of His, and his hand that will later point him out in a crowd, to remain at His table.
Yes, I do believe, God’s healing has included – and possibly even specially blessed and commissioned – My Hands.
- The loving hugs, the tear wiping, the gentle touch of teaching and prayer, the care through cooking family meals and holding my new grandson – these hands exhibit no form of harshness passed onto me. The diseases of abuse and anger that don’t eat flesh like leprosy but rather eat away at self-worth and love; those diseases have been healed clear down to my hands that have been “completely restored.”
- The demons of my past, handed down from a generation, and even those I accumulated on my own, those demons that held me bondage hand and foot – they were cast out of me by the power of Jesus Christ. And now on most days, I can affirm with a smirk, I am dressed and in my right mind. I will spend my every breath telling all that God has done for me; using my hands to bring the hand of another hurting soul into the Healing hand of God.
- I am ashamed to admit that I have been the sinner who has betrayed my friend, Jesus. Yet, through my confession, I am forgiven again and again and welcome at His remembrance meal. He has even allowed me the honor of leading other’s who have dipped the bread of sin to lay their sins at the Table. As I pray a blessing over that weekly communion meal, my hands are raised asking God’s blessing upon the symbols and upon His children. My hands are healed so completely that He has invited me to represent Him. Now more than ever, that leaves me in awe.
My friend later replied to me regarding my pondering about my hands:
“you wondered how things would have been different if someone had stepped in and shown grace and love to your mom instead of just judging her. I see her potential… the potential you hoped for in her… being lived out in you.”
Yes, again I say, God’s complete healing has even involved my hands… and maybe even my mom’s… and I can never thank Him enough.
So, I will simply raise my Healed Hands in eternal worship to Him.