Journey with John

What do you first notice when you meet someone?  Some people are drawn to what a person wears.  Clothes can tell you a lot about a person.  You have different expectations or at least different impressions, when you see a person in a business suit as opposed to faded jeans and a t-shirt.  You sometimes approach a person in a certain way because of what they wear….  Still others observe a person’s body type – tall, short, stocky, slender…. Hair often draws a first response – black, brown, blond, bald….  Personally, I’m drawn first to a person’s face, particularly the eyes – the revealer of the soul.  I’m also pulled to people’s hands for they are such an exquisite work of art.  They say a good deal about the kind of life a person lives.  Faces and hands have a way of sticking in our minds.  Once observed, and filed in our heart, we have an obligation to treasure, protect and celebrate those faces and hands God sends our way.  I appreciate Robert Raines, who has written a poem called “Faces and Hands” from his book “Lord, Could You Make It a Little Better?”

            “I love to remember those precious moments when I saw people this week,
                        really saw them – the innocent glory of a child’s face
                        the lined faces of patient parents
                        the unarmored face of one who knows he is dying
                        the hands that heal, the hands that caress,
                        the gnarled, healing hands of work and love.
            Why do I cause pain to those faces and make those hands go on guard?
                        Why do I turn the knife – belittle, demean, undercut
                        while I want to open the door
                        build up, appreciate, encourage….
            Let me bring light to those faces and gentleness to those hands.”

Why do we cause pain to those faces and hands God leads our way?  What causes us to create situations that would add a wrinkled line to those lovely faces around us?  Why do we introduce the need for helping hands to be raised in clenched fists?  We have an opportunity to build up, appreciate, and encourage the faces and hands we meet.  I notice and value faces lined with love and hands stretched out in service.  What do people see when they look at mine?…  I think I have a lot of work yet to do.



Pastor John