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12/11/08 10:55 P

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(From Max Lucado's *Just Like Jesus*)


"The other disciples therefore said unto him, We have seen the Lord. But he said unto them, Except I shall see in his hands the print of the nails, and put my hand into his side, I will not believe." ~John 20:25

May I ask you to look at your hand for a moment? Look at the back, then the palm. Reacquaint yourself with your fingers. Run a thumb over your knuckles.

What if someone were to film a documentary on your hands? What if a producer were to tell your story based on the life of your hands? What would we see? As with all of us, the film would begin with an infantís fist, then a closeup of a tiny hand wrapped around mommyís finger. Then what? Holding on to a chair as you learned to walk? Handling a spoon as you learned to eat?

We arenít too long into the feature before we see your hand being affectionate, stroking daddyís face or petting a puppy. Nor is it too long before we see your hand acting aggressively: pushing big brother or yanking back a toy. All of us learned early that the hand is suited for more than survival?itís a tool of emotional expression. The same hand can help or hurt, extend or clench, lift someone up or shove someone down.

Were you to show the documentary to your friends, youíd be proud of certain moments: your hand extending with a gift, placing a ring on anotherís finger, doctoring a wound, preparing a meal, or folding in prayer. And then there are other scenes. Shots of accusing fingers, abusive fists. Hands taking more often than giving, demanding instead of offering, wounding rather than loving. Oh, the power of our hands. Leave them unmanaged and they become weapons: clawing for power, strangling for survival, seducing for pleasure. But manage them and our hands become instruments of grace?not just tools in the hands of God, but Godís very hands. Surrender them and these five-fingered appendages become the hands of heaven.

Thatís what Jesus did. Our Savior completely surrendered his hands to God. The documentary of his hands has no scenes of greedy grabbing or unfounded finger pointing. It does, however, have one scene after another of people longing for his compassionate touch: parents carrying their children, the poor bringing their fears, the sinful shouldering their sorrow. And each who came was touched. And each one touched was changed.


"When I stand before God at the end of my life I would hope that I would have not a single bit of talent left and could say, 'I used everything You gave me.'" ~Erma Bombeck
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