“What?” I asked.
I was standing in the middle of the room with my arm up in the air but those words abruptly stopped me.
“You’re reaching the wrong way.”
It had been a rough week. Someone had said cruel things. A big and unexpected bill arrived. And there was never enough light in the room, never enough light. Everything came crashing down at once so I got mad. I was angry at others. I was mad at the never ending bills. I was mad that my back wasn’t strong enough for me to get a job and how stupid was that! I was mad that I was mad. Life wasn’t fair.
So I stood in the middle of the room and puzzled all of this. There seemed to be no solution. Slowly, the anger drained out. Anger takes a ton of energy and I didn’t even have enough energy to sustain anger so I had to let it go. I forgave the cruel words. I decided to trust God that the finances would somehow work out, and maybe there could even be a solution for the poor lighting. God helped calm me down and I was aware of Him. But he was invisible and I wanted desperately to see him. Friends hug friends, don’t they? And when Jesus walked on the earth, just a touch of his garment healed disease. So I stood there and reached my hand toward the ceiling and waited to touch the hand of God.
How soon we forget sometimes. It was just a couple minutes before that I decided to let go of anger and now it started to bubble up again. Only this time, it was against God.
I stood on my tiptoes and said “Do I have to be higher to touch your hand?” I kept my arm up, rigid. I looked across the room and eyed the chair. “Do I have to stand on a chair?” I stretched on tiptoes as high as I could and felt the old adrenaline surging again, for all the wrong reasons. “Do I have to stand on my bed? Huh??? How high do I have to go to touch your hand, God???”
I started toward the bed, my hand still held high, but God interrupted my thoughts.
“You’re reaching the wrong way.”
His voice wasn’t angry, it wasn’t impatient or disgusted. It was calm and honest.
I let my arm drop and stared at my hand. What on earth did that mean “You’re reaching the wrong way?” If holding my hand up was the wrong way, then I had to lower it. I slowly lowered my hand, lower, lower, until it was held out down by my side, palm up. Then I looked at my hand and waited and wondered. And God answered.
God said “What you do to the least of these, you do to me. So if you want to touch my hand, you have to reach down to someone else.”
My eyes brimmed over. Yes.
This week, my hands sewed.
A group of helping hands gathered together to sew tote bags to tie on walkers for patients at a rehab center.
I volunteered to take some unfinished bags to sew at home. The smooth fabric moved through my fingers as it fed through the machine.
Despite the pain in my back, it felt good to be using my hands for someone else. Why should my hands be limited just because my back complains?
It was just a couple months ago that I still needed a walker. Back then, it took great effort just to cut socks into strips to wrap the bars. It was such an effort that I could only wrap one. One of my sons finished the other. I know what it’s like to take fifteen minutes just to walk across a room. The fabric tote bags to tie on walkers are such a small contribution. But it’s the little things that make a big difference.
I won’t be there to see the bags tied to the walkers. I won’t see the struggling hands tuck tissues or a pen or prescription into the bag pockets. But that’s ok. I don’t need to stand on tiptoes and reach up. God said I only had to reach down to someone else.
“The King will answer and say to them, ‘Truly I say to you, to the extent that you did it to one of these brothers of Mine, even the least of them, you did it to Me.’ Matthew 25:40
What you do to others, you do unto Me.
If you want to touch the hand of God, reach down to someone else.
It’s not so hard.