A Simple Touch in the Midst of Chaos

I slid my hand into his large, calloused hand. And wept.

I wept over the chaos in our lives, the turmoil within our congregation. I wept because he didn’t reject my hand. I wept for the hope and promise beget in that small gesture. “Forgive us our debts as we forgive our debtors” washed over me like a gentle summer rain. My voice quivered. More tears stained my face as the God-breathed prayer assured of forgiveness.

I’ve visited many churches and participated in many Christian activities where holding hands during a prayer is common. My husband has not. Our church does not. I respond to touch; I’m a hugger. My husband, Gary, not so much.

Chaos and overwhelming tasks have prevailed in our lives for quite some time. I desperately want to share with Gary the overwhelming love and peace I find in Jesus Christ. As iron sharpens iron, I long to dive into God’s word together. To challenge, to question, to absorb the scriptures together.

For several weeks now I’ve sat beside him in the church pew and prayed for the courage to reach over and take his hand in mine during the Lord’s Prayer. One small gesture that may lead him to feel God’s love as I do, to thirst God’s word as I thirst. Two weeks ago, I read the order of service in the bulletin, saw the familiar prayer, and began to pray for courage. I felt God’s assurance. I was determined this was the day. Then suddenly, with a tap on his shoulder, Gary stood to assist with the offering. After serving, he took a seat in the usher’s chair rather than returning to our pew—missed chance. My heart sank.

Sunday I repeated the prayer for courage as we sat down in the pew together. “Our Father who art in heaven”…I discreetly slid my hand over…“hallowed be thy name”…a second, more assertive nudge…“thy kingdom come”…and then he opened his hand to mine, our hands clasped together…“thy will be done”…my heart warmed. The tears fell.

At Bible Study this week, our women’s group discussed how the spirit of God hovered over the chaos and darkness before God commanded creation into being. God was present in that chaos. God is present in today’s chaos.

Just as God created the majestic heavens and earth out of chaos and darkness, God is creating something miraculous out of the chaos in our lives.