Last week was an amazing time for our family. We were together for the first time in almost 5 months with our sons and their families for a week of vacation at Smith Mountain Lake, VA. We shared lots of hugs, laughs, meals, and sunsets; and I found time to be in my happy place on the water, paddle-boarding, kayaking, and riding on a pontoon boat. I even had a chance to hit field hockey balls around and do some drills with Lily, our oldest granddaughter and a rising sophomore in high school. She schooled me!
But the biggest surprise happened while we were anchored in a cove so that everyone on board could cool off in the lake. I was treading water next to Lily, when she said, “Nana, hold my hand.” I did, and for about 5 blessed minutes we floated on our backs that way. Lily passed out of the affectionate stage with me, or anyone, at least in public, when she started middle school, so this felt like a gift of unexpected, unmerited grace, which happens to be Lilian’s middle name.
The next day, as she was getting ready to jump off the boat, she said, “Nana, let’s hold hands and jump together.” Jump, we did! Doubly graced!
Holding hands can mean so many things. And in this season of no touching, no shaking of hands or hugging, it is an incredible, risky act of trust. We hold young children’s hands to keep them safe crossing streets. Children hold our hands when they are afraid. We hold hands with our significant others to express our love and connection. We hold hands with friends and family when we pray around the table. We hold hands with people who are grieving, or receiving difficult news, or as they pass from this life to life eternal.
Every moment is something to be savored, more precious because of the precariousness of life right now. I am comforted with the memory, and sense that it is a gift and reminder that, “My times are in your (God’s) hands,” (Psalm 36:11).
May we sense God holding our hand! ~ Anne