The touch of kind hands is transforming. Like the kind hands of an understanding mother soothing her tearful child. Or the kind hands of an experienced surgeon as she calms a nervous patient. And then there are the kind hands of the professor as she congratulates a graduate with an affirming hug of approval.
Kind hands are generous, safe and non-judgemental. They say I acknowledge you. I affirm you. I approve of you. Simply put, the touch of the hands of a kind person say, “I see you,” “I celebrate you,” “I believe in you”.
During the lockdowns of the past couple of years our online church life has missed the touch of kind hands. They were replaced with waving at each other through our screens, thumbs-up emojis, and preset reactions for us to select during worship services, small group gatherings and other get togethers. But they are just not the same. Actually they are no comparison. Not even close.
As we return to our church gatherings hoping that we don’t get locked down again let’s re-discover ways to say, “I see you,” “I celebrate you,” “I believe in you”.
When John the Revelator realised he was in the presence of Jesus, John immediately fell before Jesus in worship. Jesus placed His right hand on John and said, “Do not be afraid; I am the first and the last. I am the living one. I died, but—I am alive forever and ever” (Revelation 1:17).
My local church is opening up again and we can’t wait. I look forward to the kind hands of greeting. I anticipate the kind hands of serving one another and our guests. I know that there will be a need for kind hands of careful guidance, and even a hand of invitation to a difficult conversation. I take courage in how Jesus acknowledged, affirmed and approved John with a kind right hand.
May our churches be filled with kind hands. May kind hands be raised in worship, and may kind hands point always to Jesus. May unkind hands be called out and discipled with love. I wish for our churches to welcome every single person, whoever they may be, with kind hands that say, “I see you,” “I celebrate you,” “I believe in you”.