“You guys hold hands more than any other guys I have ever met, and I’m not sure what it means,” said my co-cabin counselor during Cabin Time. John Mellencamp
maybe sings it best when he sings that:
Don’t need to be no strong hand,
Don’t need to be no rich hand,
Everyone just needs a hand to hold on to
That evening I looked around the fire after vespers and smiled. Every young man in the Dove cabin was holding each other’s hand.
One thing I have explored some this summer through holding hands is the profound power touch has. At the conclusion of every workshop time that I have, I close in a prayer during which everyone laces fingers with the people next to him or her, interlocking hands with his or her neighbor. During these prayers the words I say aren’t nearly as important to me as the hands themselves.
See, by interlocking hands, our fingers cover up the weak, exposed skin in between the fingers of our neighbor. Hands interlocking symbolizes a lot of things central to my Christian faith. When I lock hands with my neighbor, I show my commitment to cover up their weakest spots to lift them up as much as possible. Hands represent humanity, and our relationship both to people across the circle and across the world. We all share an intimate relationship with God, and for me showing that relationship is the ultimate symbolism; for me, we show that relationship when we interlock hands with that relationship in mind.
The results of thinking about the power touch has to heal range from reassurance to mission work to showing affection to literally fixing the body or spirit. Jesus absolutely was aware of touch’s profound power. In the book of Luke, a bleeding woman touches the hem of Jesus’s garment and her problem was no more. Jesus knew right away that someone in need had touched His clothing because of some loss of energy. This unexplained touch was enough for Jesus to rebuke the woman, but instead He praises her for her faith in His touch.
So why did the group of guys hold hands with each other all week? They each had faith in each other, faith in Jesus, and had committed themselves to covering up each other’s weak points.
Peace for the journey,