Gathering Earth: A Hand Reflection

by Christine Sine

Pen and Paint Ponderings with Karen and Karen
by Karen Wilk (writer) and Karen Tamminga-Paton (painter)

Karen Tamminga-Paton has done numerous paintings of hands and there is something about them that invites us to consider all of life, and in particular our relationships with one another and creation. Take a moment to look at her painting. Take another moment to pay attention to your own hands and perhaps those of others around you. Think about all the bones, muscles, joints, veins and all the other intricacies and abilities of hands! What do you notice? What do they do well? With what do they struggle? How do they bless?  How have they treated whatever they touch and how have they been treated? Ponder the painting again and read the following out loud. How will you receive and use the gift of hands today?

        Worn, wrinkled
        Worked, working,
God gave us hands
        Hands to make and mold
        Hands to have and hold
Young hands, soft and bold
Aching, cracked hands, grown old.
God gave us hands
        To raise in praise
        To clap and sing, write and play
        To cook, to wash and point the way.
God gave us hands
        To garden and gather
        To lend and to share
        To till and to tend
        To reach out and care.
        To feel and to grow
        To make right
                and seek to know…

But we have taken those hands
        Misused and abused them
        Hurt, enslaved, and refused them
They’ve been squeezed too tight
Cuffed, cut, burnt, and made to fight
Rolled up from open, to fisted
Gone from giving to grabbing
        Selfish, savage, twisted…

 And still, Creator loves those hands
And holds them wholly close to God’s heart
Each unique, embodied Holy art
        Cherished, precious, irreplaceable
        Full of potential, fully valuable
        So much so that God made them
His Own
        Gathering heaven and earth in One
                Healing, helping, embracing Son
                        Suffering all,
                                til all is done.

God gave us hands-
        Beauty and opportunity
                Creator’s creativity
                        Spirit’s possibility
                                Incarnate Infinity
                                        Tangible Divinity
                Inviting our receptivity…
God gave us hands.

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What do you need this Lenten Season? What are you longing for as you look towards Easter? How can we create Beauty from the Ashes of the past two years?

Please join Christine Sine and Lilly Lewin in this virtual retreat as they guide you to lay down grief and gather joys through the journey of Lent!



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