-Submitted by Travis Flora
Let’s think about hands for a moment. Hands are great and they have many uses. They are also very important tools in getting things done, communicating with other people…and even spreading the Gospel.
For example, consider the hands of a fighter, curled up into a fist. Not very inviting.
There is an open hand, drawn back as if to slap someone. Even if it’s just in jest, it still holds the hint of danger or punishment. Again, not very inviting.
The open hand, palms facing up and extended either alone or in pairs, is often associated with asking, requesting, and even begging. The focus is on the individual and can imply selfishness.
Some people use their hands as a barrier. Their arms are outstretched toward others, but their hands are facing up, like a policeman giving the signal to stop. I call that “arms-length Christianity.” It keeps people away and hinders the true relationship that we should have. We need to make sure we’re not doing this!
But what about if those same hands are turned upward, toward the skies. In football, that means TOUCHDOWN! That’s a good thing. It also represents praise and love of God. It directs our vision upward to greater thoughts and helps affirm our belief that there is a power out there that’s greater than our own.
Now imagine we take those arms, filled with the glory and love of God, and bring them down a bit. Extend them from our sides, palms facing in. What comes to mind? Perhaps a hug. The anticipation of an excited child or someone special running into your arms.
Think about where you’ve seen that arm position. One of the first things a baby learns to do is hold its arms out like that so that it can get a hug or lifted and carried somewhere. A baby’s hug is a call for love, affection, and even help.
As we get older, we never lose the need for the call of those loving arms. We hug our family and friends. We extend our arms like that when we want someone to give us a second chance and to diffuse tense situations.
That hug position, friends, is the symbol of the word REACH. We start by reaching up for God, then continuing that motion by extending our reach to those around us. It can be reaching out to those in physical need, like the Good Samaritan. It can be reaching out to those with emotional needs. More important, it can be reaching out to those in spiritual need, which is all of us.
One of our responsibilities as Christians is to Reach out to those around us. Let’s remind ourselves to always look around and see whose life we can touch and then REACH out to them with those caring hands filled with God’s love.