REFUSE TO BE WHITHER- BE CONNECTED
We can see in the gospel a man whose hand was paralyzed, he cannot move it because it was withered.
Here was a man who was already tired of being a withered.
To be withered means to be dry and the man’s hand had dried up.
He cannot move his hands because his hand does not respond anymore to what his mind is commanding it to do.
A withered hand is to be understood as the member of the body was deprived of its life and consequent use, for want of a free circulation of vital powers.
And because of this, his hand is slowly drying and dying.
OUR HAND SPIRITUALLY
The withered hand of a man physically indicates the condition of the people inside the synagogue spiritually.
They were inside the synagogue yet they were not connected to God because they were conspiring with each other and wanted to destroy Jesus.
What happened to man’s hand physically could be implied to us spiritually
A withered hand is to be understood as a faculty or power of the human mind, deprived also of its life and energy for want of a free circulation of vital principles.
Jn 15:6 says that a branch not connected to the vine dries up and is thrown away into the fire.
When a branch is not connected to the tree, there are no nutrients that flow through the branch that will sustain it to live and bear fruits. Eventually, the branch dries up and dies down.
And when we are not connected to God, is it not that we are still young yet we look to be in the fifties already. Why, because we are already dried up.
We are so burdened by our trials and problems.
Our physical body manifests what is inside of us spiritually.
Jesus heals a deformed hand
Is our hand also drying?
The Lord heals the hand of a man with a deformed hand on Sabbath day.
Do we have a normal hand that we don’t need healing from the Lord?
We may be having normal hands but believe me, in one or another, we need healing when we realize that we have our own hand abnormalities.
Our hands might be normal. But what I want to focus not on its physical aspects.
Our hands’ gestures will speak out our unspoken words.
It could reveal our inner thoughts. Others could take a glimpse of our personality.
We might not be speaking, but the signs of our hands speak something that is inside of us.
It could reveal who really we are.
Our hands may show our spirituality.
The question to us right now is, yes we have a normal hand but does our inner being really normal?
Recognizing our Abnormalities
Do we have that hand problem?
Sometimes we are sick but we ignore our sickness we just simply ignore them.
We live normally until such time it is too late to find a cure.
We have to understand the symptoms.
We are asked to visit our doctors regularly every six months or a year for a general check.
Let us examine how we do well by checking if we have any hand deformities.
Hands of Isolation
With hands open and raised toward the others, we may say “Stop! I don’t need you so close”.
Off-limits. Keep distance. Keep out. “Leave me alone”.
A hand of isolation is a gesture where we don’t want to entertain others. A gesture that signals you want to be alone.
We don’t welcome others for a new relationship after a heartbreak. The pain is so much to bear that we close our doors to others. You don’t want to open up again.
You don’t want to listen. You don’t want to speak. You don’t want to see anybody. You don’t want to trust for now after somebody betrays your trust.
You want to shut up your window from the world and you feel pity for yourself.
The hand of isolation creates a wall to open up a new door for others who want to enter our life.
Hands of Selfishness
Sometimes we have this, when we pray, we only pray for ourselves or the people in our circles.
These are the hands who always ask but don’t’ know how to give.
A hand gesture that is so possessive and self-centered. A lot of marriage fails because the partner is so possessive that the others can’t breathe anymore. They don’t trust their partners and even others too.
Selfish hands are close hands. It opens only when it wanted to receive but closes immediately afterward.
I have learned that to catch a monkey in India, they have to prepare the bait. Whole coconut fruit is slightly opened with the bait or food inside.
The monkey will smell the bait and he will put his hand inside the coconut fruit. The hunter will come when he knows the hand of the monkey is inside. With its hand closed, holding the bait inside, he will not open it. That is why; it will run with its hand inside the coconut. The monkey cannot run far so the hunter catches them easily.
Hands of Judgment & Condemnation
These are the hand that always pointing out to others.
“It is not my mistake. It is his mistake”.
Remember the two people praying inside the temple? The publican was at the back knocking his chest and he could not even look up asking forgiveness for he was a sinner. And the Pharisees thank God because he is better than the publicans.
How many times do we judge others the way we look at them? Considering ourselves more oh highly regards in terms of our stature, that we have a better work, that we are more educated, that we have more influence than we are wealthier and others are less fortunate.
These are those who look into the color of others’ skin and regard themselves better than their neighbors.
When we point our finger at someone, remember three of our fingers are pointing at us and the thumb is pointed upward.
Hands of Punishment & Pain
Hands gesture that causes pain physically. The victims usually are the battered wife, maltreated maids and servants, abused children, tortured detainees, and prisoners….
These are the hand that always inflict pain and hurt others not only physically but also emotionally.
Hurt emotions are difficult to heal rather than the wound inflicted by physical means.
These are people who hurt others with their careless words and actions. They don’t care if they hurt others’ feelings or not. People who are not sensitive to the feeling of others.
These are individuals who don’t know how to appreciate the effort and the importance of others.
Hands of Rejection
Hand gesture with thumbs down.
These are people who are difficult to please.
These are people who don’t appreciate and value the works of others. No matter what good you’ve done, for them, it’s rejected.
These are people who put down the morale of others. They take away hope from a person, who aspires to succeed.
These might be a group of people who exclude themselves from the rest. If you are not a part of it, you are not welcome.
These are people who don’t accept suggestions and listen to others’ advice considering that they know everything and that their ideas are better than others.
Hands of Failure and hopelessness
This is a hand gesture with two hands open palm facing up with both shoulders raised up accompanied by a frustrated face.
These are people who accepted failure as their destiny.
For them, failures are walls too high for them to climb. It’s too high that they could not see any hope beyond those walls.
The need for healing
Remember what Jesus told to the Pharisees? “If you say that you see then you are blind, but if you tell that you’re blind then you don’t see.
If we tell that everything is normal and we don’t need healing, the more we need our healer.
Accept that we are weak and frail.
Recognize that we have the tendency to different hand abnormalities and we need healing for our deformed hands.
God knows that we need healing both physically and spiritually.
He desires to heal and deliver us from these abnormalities if we wanted to.
God desires that we possess hands:
- hands of belongingness rather than hands of isolation
- hands of generosity rather than hands of selfishness
- hands of compassion rather than hands of judgment and condemnation
- hands of forgiveness and mercy rather than hands of punishment and pain
- hands of approval rather than hands of rejection
- hands of triumph rather than hands of failure and hopelessness
- hands of total surrender rather than hands of defeat
- hands of prayer rather than hands of a loser
We are in good hands
We are in good hands with God.
Into the hands of a loving Father to a prodigal son.
Into the generous hands who multiply the fish and bread to feed thousands.
It’s the hands of forgiveness like Mary Magdalene on the brink of stoning to death because of adultery.
It’s the hands of compassion to sinners like Zaccheus.
Into the healing hands that open the eyes of Barthemeus and the many men who were lamed, blinds possessed deaf, mute, lepers, and sicked.
Into the hands that give life who raised Lazarus from the dead.
It’s the hands of hope like the criminal Dimas who seized heaven at his last moment.
Hands nailed on the cross open wide with arms stretch forth full of love.
Hands so open welcoming each one of us without any doubt of rejection. Without any fear of punishment. Hands full of mercy and compassion.
Into His loving hands alone we can commend our life.
Now tell me, to which hands you will entrust your life?
May you find peace as you entrust your life into His loving hands,