by Christine Sine
In the last couple of months I have become obsessed with hands. It all began when I came across a wonderful DIY project for creating planters shaped like hands out of cement. “Shaped by the hands of God” I thought and immediately added it to my “must do over the summer” projects.
“Shaped by the hands of God” – the imagery grew in my mind far outstripping the original concept of planters for my succulents. Every time I thought about it I felt as though I entered a place of security, peace and belonging.
I went looking for Bible verses that spoke of this. Isaiah 64:8 The Voice was the one that most resonated in my soul:
Still, Eternal One, You are our Father.
We are just clay, and You are the potter.
We are the product of Your creative action, shaped and formed into something of worth.
We are not just shaped by God’s hands but we are shaped from something that seems to be of no value (a lump of clay) into something that is of value, something precious, unique and highly prized by God. More than that we are shaped by the loving hand of God into the image of God – an image of love, compassion, justice, mercy, peace, generosity and righteousness.
Wow – to be shaped by the hand of God is an amazing thing.
Next I went looking on Pinterest for hand shaping exercises that would help move me further on my journey and created a special self care Pinterest board to collect some of my images. There are so many ways to use images of our hands to bring closeness to God, healing to our spirits and guidance for life direction. I hope to explore some of these in the coming weeks. Today however my thoughts focused on “shaped by the hand of God” and the verse above.
I took out my journal and traced my left hand.
I traced over the outline with a black marker, reciting the words shaped by the hand of God as I did so.
I painted inside my outline, choosing a kaleidoscope of colours as I thought about the vibrant colours and messy patterns that God has shaped into my life. My image slowly took shape. And it is a messy image, smudged in some places where I accidentally touched my still wet lettering. That’s OK I decided. It reflects some of the messiness still present in my life.
I read through Isaiah 64:8 and meditated on the words – shaped by God’s creative action into something of worth…. in spite of the messiness, in spite of the imperfections, I am of value to God – I am a beloved child of God.
What are the God actions that have shaped me?
The was the first question that came to my mind. Created, redeemed, reshaped, transformed, being made new. These are the broad strokes of God’s shaping and reshaping of me. I added the words to my fingerprints and as I did so the prayer below came into my mind.
God thank you,
I am precious in your sight.
Shaped by your hands on the potter’s wheel,
Lovingly crafted by the great I AM.
God thank you,
I am created, redeemed, reshaped, transformed.
Held in Your warm embrace,
Beloved, belonging, precious, valued.
Loved and cared for by the Eternal One
Father and mother of us all.
What is the image of God that is emerging?
Maybe it would be better to ask: what am I being transformed into. This was a list too long to be added to my handprint so it has become as separate list on the page opposite – loving, caring, peacemaker, generous, grateful, proclaimer of justice, steward of creation, creative, playful, compassionate, chooser of joy, faithful to God and others, a seeker after truth. The list will I know grow as I continue to reflect on my question this week. God’s image is emerging and I am slowly being made whole.
What is Your Response?
Pull out a sheet of paper and trace your hand on it.
Grab a black or coloured marker and outline your print reciting the words shaped by God’s hand, as you do so.
Decorate your handprint with colours, or images as you feel inspired by the spirit flowing through you.
Add words of inspiration or comfort either on your print or around it.
Write the words Shaped by God’s hand, either across the top of the handprint or on the palm as I did.
What are the actions of God that have shaped you? Write these down.
What is the image of God you see emerging? Make a list.
Sit prayerfully in the presence of God. How does your heart respond? Is it with a prayer, a poem, a song, a dance or some other form of creative inspiration? Allow God’s creative energy to flow through you and create a response.