It was 22 years ago this week that my husband held my hand for the first time. We were watching a movie at a friend’s house. I liked him and he liked me. I kept my hand casually available between us and he slipped his hand in mine, a million butterflies fluttering madly in my stomach. I’ve loved holding his hand ever since.
Now that we have four kids, most of the hand-holding I’ve done the past 14 years has been with them. At this point, it’s hard for me to walk through a parking lot without holding on to somebody.
When I hold hands with my kids, it is mainly to keep them safe from passing cars and to keep them close but there are times when clasping hands is meant to establish a connection. Like the time my husband and I walked through an African airport, a little afraid and very travel worn. The director of airport security had been asked to help us through the checkpoints to enter the country. He found us then he found the official who could facilitate this for us. They chatted quietly and soon we were motioned to follow them. I noticed that they held hands and nodded to every police officer we passed. Their held hands were a bond that cast its shadow on us to ensure our delivery to the airport exit without harassment.
Over Labor Day weekend, I did a lot of hand-holding with my youngest. We took a mile-long hike to a waterfall. As we waded through the stream, we saw that the rocks were slippery with algae. Many times, he would begin to slip and I would pull him up. The area was packed with other holiday hikers, so there were times when the narrow path couldn’t support two-way traffic. We would have to step back and wait for people to pass before continuing. Often we stood just at the edge of a steep drop. I held his hand even tighter then.
There can be such comfort and power in holding hands. The Scriptures frequently illustrate this with our relationship to God.
Holding hands signifies that I AM HERE. Psalm 73 says, “Yet I am always with you; you hold me by my right hand.” Later on in Psalm 139 we read, “Where can I go from your Spirit? Where can I flee from your presence? If I go up to the heavens, you are there; if I make my bed in the depths, you are there. If I rise on the wings of the dawn, if I settle on the far side of the sea, even there your hand will guide me, your right hand will hold me fast.”
Holding hands bestows STRENGTH. Isaiah 41:13 says, “For I am the Lord your God who takes hold of your right hand and says to you, ‘Do not fear; I will help you.’”
There is something so touching and intimate about holding hands. It’s even more moving to know that our Mighty God also wants to show us such tenderness. Reach out to Him because He is holding out His hand to you.