This morning’s ‘Jesus Calling’ devotional asked me to open my hands and be ready to receive abundant blessings, and I was totally on board. Abundant blessings are always welcome here, after all, and the timing couldn’t have been better. I had a down day yesterday and a weepy night and I was ready for the sun to rise again.
The concept of ‘open hands’ always brings to mind Fr. Frank McFarland, a priest who used to say the rosary on Boston Catholic Television. He prayed from a different location every time, and he made the faith come to life with his real, grounded examples. He once said that when we ask for the Holy Spirit to fill us, we should do it like a kid receiving m&ms from his mother. As children, his brother had advised him to ‘put out both hands because you get more!’, and it stuck with Fr. Frank through the years. The same is true with our faith. The more open we are to receiving God and grace, the more we get, right?
With open hands, we do receive, but we also let go. It can be a painful, vulnerable position, when we want to hold on tight to what we have and we don’t know what’s to come. Open hands require trust. This morning, the words of the devotional were like balm to me; I was really counting on something big to be placed in my open, outstretched hands. Though God is timeless and sees all, mine is a temporal existence and I’m only human. After all, He said to ask, seek, and knock, so I did. So far, my open hands have received a sweet text from a friend, a rare phone conversation with my boy, a bright sunny day, and a last minute change in my teaching schedule that allowed me to prep for prom day tomorrow. But I’ve had to let go of stuff too, and though most of that drama takes place in my mind and spirit, it doesn’t make it less real. If I had to add it up, ungrateful as I am… well, I don’t dare add.
The day’s not done yet, not by a long shot, and I know that my open hands might be called upon to help someone or let go of something else, but I hope to look down before the sun sets today and find something totally new just for me. I asked, and I know if it were my kid, I’d do it. I just hope I have eyes to see. Matthew 7:8-11