Open Hands

And in him you too are being built together to become a dwelling in which God lives by his Spirit. Ephesians 2:22

Yesterday and today, I have been thinking a lot about having open hands.

I often pray with my hands open in front of me, palms facing upwards. Having open hands is a helpful physical symbolism of my worshipping and surrendering things in my life to God.

However, I find it hard to extend this surrender and ‘offering up’ into the attitude of my everyday. My ‘default’ when I’m in the middle of ordinary practicalities and thoughts and work and people and deadlines and this hour and then the next, is not one of worship and surrender. And this means I inadvertently ‘hold onto’ things more tightly than I should.

If I believe that there is not anything or anyone that matters more than the kingdom of heaven, then I should not be ‘grabbing hold’ of anything or anyone as if they do. Instead, I should be living with open hands, mindful of the smallness and lowness of the things I treasure when contrasted with the greatness of God.

To live with open hands, to live in such a way where ‘default’ is a place of worship and surrender, is to live in joy.

When I hold relationships with open hands, I find it easier to let people come in and out of my life as gifts of grace to be cherished and enjoyed, not objects to be owned and manipulated.

When I hold my dreams with open hands, I find it easier to have confidence when things happen that seem opposed to what is good, to have confidence that what seems dead can be resurrected.

When I hold my day with open hands, I find it easier to enjoy and rejoice in the unexpected and unanticipated, interruptions that inevitably disrupt the well-intentioned plans I’ve made for myself.

When I hold my life with open hands, the blessings of God’s love and grace become more evident and the hope I have is more present.

I want to hold everything with open hands.

These past couple of days I’ve been praying in the midst of the day for a shift in my attitude to one that more readily reflects that of someone living open-handedly.

There is a lot I am yet to learn in this, and so I really welcome your suggestions of how you ‘live with open hands’, out of a place of worship and surrender.


1 Comment

  1. I’m learning to put back space around different things I do in the day, realising that it is often in the quiet and pauses of the day that God has most opportunity for his quiet ‘by the way…’ It is the growth of the frequency of our encounters with the Divine that promotes an increasing worship and ‘open handed’ praising life. A realisation that God does indeed seem to want to spend as much time with us as we are prepared to give Him.


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