When Hand Outs Change Lives

I’ve pondered, prayed, and pruned the words in this piece. I’m posting it because this speaks to me—and I need to be reminded to put an arm around others, to point them to Christ, to remember how Christ wrapped His love around me.

So here goes … 

What are Hands for?

Take our hands. They are used in so many ways, like whenever I hear “hand and foot”, I think of waiting on someone with care or with diligence. Or take the phrase “hand me down”, which makes me think of children who receive clothes from their older siblings.

Since I’m a twin, I’ve never quite encountered hand me downs. Although, I would have loved for a memory of my sister waiting on me “hand and foot”.

“At hand” makes me think of an event approaching, and “hand in” reminds me of my school days when homework assignments were turned into the teacher.

When I think of “hands on”, I consider someone who works closely with another person, versus “in another’s hand” which might speak of control.

If I tell you “I’ve lent a hand” or if I had a “hand in it”, then I personally was involved.

Why Hands Matter?

But there’s one small phase using “hand” that makes me sad. It’s when I hear, “They (homeless) need more than a “hand out”.

This lone statement or one similar may be partially true, but I don’t want discount the importance of developing a relationship with someone. Of showing kindness in small acts and loving on them for the Lord, because this does add beauty to a day—always.

To impart the gospel. To hold someone. To ease suffering. To love on another person. Those acts of hope and kindness and friendship will change someone. When we take part in such moments, it may be “us” who needs the change the most.

(I know my own callous heart, it needs constant care and God’s “hand”, in doing a new thing in me.)

When I read: Whatever you find to do with your hands, do it with all your might (Eccl. 9:10), I’m compelled to do the part I can, and trust God to use it for His glory.

If someone is outcast or down and out, or lost, or weary, or homeless, or sad, or worried, or wandering, may we unwrap mercy.

Each of us can have a role in sharing Jesus and it takes our hands—to give a hug or to pass on a gentle touch or to embrace a new friend. Our hands can wipe a tear. Or hold someone’s hand. Or guide them with truth from our Bible.

Such open doors offer an opportunity to share the hope we find in Christ. When we make one second or one minute or even one hour, more beautiful for someone, we ourselves increase in joy, too.

Even if that person is trapped (in our view) in taking “hand outs”, the very next one given, may be the moment when grace reaches inside his or her heart. Who knows when a call by our Savior will open the eyes of someone, to help them find purpose and hope, to walk a new walk, in faith in the Savior.

Beautiful Hands

After all, Christ reached out to me and made my life beautiful. His outstretched hands build and lift up. He rescued me. He redeemed me. No one is beyond His grace.

May we offer kindness and do it with diligence, using not only our hands but our feet—to share the gospel at every turn. To be personally involved in obeying God and serving Him. To shine for Christ, as we lift our hands in praise to our King! Because today is the day of salvation—it is “at hand.”

Please note: I reserve the right to delete comments that are offensive or off-topic.

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