I am tall and slender. (Slender sounds so much nicer than skinny.) I am 5’10” barefoot, and I weigh in at about a buck thirty-five. I was standing, holding hands in a prayer circle with 68 people I had never met. The majority of these people were from group homes around Birmingham.
My right hand felt like a child’s hand being held by a man so large that my nose was level with his shoulder. His hand engulfed mine, and I am certain he could have crushed my fingers if he chose. Instead, he was holding on ever so gently.
The left hand was a different story. The woman to my left had pulled a chair into the circle, unable to stand for the prayer time. She seemed to be about my age, but much larger than I am. And she shook. Twitching in her mouth, tremors in her arms and hands. Uncontrollable, constant. I don’t mean she was shivering like she was cold; she convulsed like someone had plugged her into an electrical outlet.
Holding her hand required a grip. She held tightly to mine, which transferred the tremors to me. To lock my arm and try to keep my hand down made my whole body move. So I relaxed my arm, and let it flop with hers. I tried to stabilize my body, and wondered if the man on my right could feel the tremors through me. If he did, he seemed unfazed by it. Perhaps he has held her hand before.
I don’t know what the prayer requests were, and I barely remember the man who was doing the praying. I was concentrating so hard on trying to hold on with my left hand, and be still with the rest of me. And I wondered about God.
I wondered about God holding his hand out to me. From God’s perspective, do I flop all around? Or do I hold on confidently? Do I really understand that God is not merely holding my hand? He is holding me IN His hand! What about you?
Steve Austin is an author, speaker, and life coach who is passionate about helping overwhelmed people learn to catch their breath. He is the author of two Amazon bestsellers, "Catching Your Breath," and "From Pastor to a Psych Ward." Steve lives with his wife and two children in Birmingham, Alabama.
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