The Touch of God (Through Human Hands)

kindnessLying in pain from head to toe, pain that is hardly touched by medication, you feel completely helpless. Fibromyalgia flares are as debilitating as any other rheumatic illness. Good days, bad days, many days of just getting by. I’ve lived with it for 20 years, but recently had the worst flare I have had yet. Muscles from head to toe get so tight you can hardly move. Your face and head hurt so that lying on a pillow is torture.

Tom had to be gone to take Emmy to a school function, and there was nobody else around. All I needed was a large black cup of coffee. Caffeine is sometimes the only thing that gets the head pain to recede for a time. But I couldn’t get downstairs in that condition to make any, and I was afraid of falling.

In desperation, I asked the Lord to help. “I just need a cup of coffee, I need a touch of your hand, Heavenly Father.” I called my 26-year-old son, Sam, hating to bother him and his little family for something so trivial. They recently moved nearer us, but it was still a 10 minute drive.

It is funny how something so small isn’t small at all when you are in severe pain. Sam cheerfully agreed to help and drove over in 20 minutes with a large coffee for me. I gratefully took it down. He stayed and talked for a while. Conversation with my serious son is always a pleasure. Within 30 minutes, I went from being prostrate in misery, to getting up and getting around.

Does this sound like something so small that it doesn’t merit a blog post? Maybe to you it is small. If you have never been weak to the point where you cannot help yourself, if you’ve ever known terrible pain that no pill can seem to fix, you know the sense of helplessness you have.

My prayer for a touch from God’s hand was answered by a human hand in the form of my son. My son’s kindness in what he considered a small thing was a true gift from the Lord. It was God’s touch through a human hand. How many times do we look for some grand thing from God, some earth shaking miracle that will change this or that? I’m guilty of that all the time. Sometimes, the quiet act of human kindness is what God sends to remind us we are not alone. He sends such kindness through many diverse sources, all through small acts of mercy and love.

When Sam left, leaving cheer and comfort behind him, I thought of how somebody out there might need a touch of God’s hand today. I can be that touch for somebody, even though it may be only within the confines of my home. Wait. Did I just say “only” within the confines of my home? That’s where it matters most! If we teach our children to be merciful and to be kind, we have had an impact far behind our own family. Someday, we will all be weak and will need that touch of God through a human hand. Jesus said, “Blessed are the merciful, for they will receive mercy.”

P.S. Our little daughter, Emily, was in need of a friend. She has never had a little girl her age to play with. No matter how much I have tried, she has not had a neighbor, cousin or church friend that was her age and gender. Through an act of kindness, a friend of mine introduced me to someone who had just such a little girl Emmy’s age. Yesterday, Emmy had about as wonderful a day as a little girl could have with a new friend. Seeing what it meant to our daughter, I was reminded once again of how one act of kindness can have an impact on somebody’s life. Thank you, Donna. And thank you, Lord.

 

14 thoughts on “The Touch of God (Through Human Hands)

  1. Lisa Turner says:

    This is so true, Sis. Sometimes these “touches” come from more likely sources, like our kids – and other times, completely unlikely others whom the Lord uses to manifest love. He meets our needs in His unique ways, but always brings blessing to both the giver and the receiver every time! Thanks to you, Ing, for being that loving “touch” in MY life so many times!!

  2. healingInHim says:

    I consider the Hope Blog and Face Book page “acts of kindness” in my life. Appreciate the way you empathize … Ingrid, you weep with those who weep and rejoice with those who rejoice! Bless you and your loved ones. Praying for you:-)

  3. Judi says:

    I agree with healingInHim. A wonderful and true piece of writing. (And I am so happy for Emmy. We all need a friend. 🙂 )

  4. Carol says:

    Beautiful post, Ingrid. Thank you, and may God continue His Blessings to you and your family. Sometimes the little things in life speak loudly to our souls.

  5. Becky McGraw says:

    I too agree w/HealingInHim. “For God is not unjust so as to overlook your work and the love that you have shown for his name in serving the saints, as you still do.” Heb 6:10

  6. Donna says:

    Long ago, we were in a tiny town in the Cotswalds. It started to pour and a courtly gentleman in a suit and vest and bowler hat rushed out of his home to our car with an umbrella and escorted us inside the little restaurant where we were headed. I thanked him and he said “Madam–courtesy and kindness should be free to all, should they not?” All these years later, I still agree with him.

  7. Margaret L. Been says:

    Hi, Ingrid. How I can identify with your pain, and the joy of having your son bring a cup of coffee. When we hurt, every little thing means SO MUCH!!!

    And the above comment made reminded me of a very similar “long ago” story, also involving rain and an umbrella. My husband and I were In San Francisco’s Chinatown, waiting at a cable car stop in pouring rain. Without even making eye contact, a dignified Chinese gentleman moved beside me and quietly held his umbrella over my head. A gracious moment to remember! :).

  8. julie says:

    Can I give just a little bit different perspective? I find that many times people turn down kindnesses. The offer may be small, or it may be big, either way, instead of thank you, they like Peter say “Are you going to wash my feet?” It seems silly to point out, but In order to give there must be someone to receive, a recipient for kindnesses. Friends, never turn down a kindness, especially from a fellow Christian. The Lord may have specifically sent them to you to bless you. It happened to me today, again. I offered a meal to a friend who is going in for surgery soon. She turned me down. This has happened more times than I can count (and no it isn’t because I am a bad cook). It can be a lot of different kinds of offers – either way Christian people refuse them. It’s sad and I wonder if they later wonder why the Lord doesn’t ever seem to help them.

  9. Ingrid Schlueter says:

    Julie – it’s an important perspective. It’s takes humility to accept an offer of help. We like to be self-sufficient or we like to at least appear to be self-sufficient. Being a gracious recipient is important also. I’m sure there are other reasons people refuse help beyond a lack of humility, but I agree with you. I want to tell you a story. My mother is a person who through the years would help anyone if there was a need. I once had a Christian friend who worked with me frequently on Crosstalk Radio as a guest on various education issues. His wife was ill, chronically so, and he had four children. My mom heard of his wife’s worsening health and made a beautiful casserole, bought rolls and several other things and took it, literally, to his door one afternoon.

    Rather than thank her for her obvious sacrifice in caring for him and his family, he told her coldly that his church was taking care of all of his needs and he didn’t need any meals. I remember being totally aghast at the response when Mom told me. Even if the meal was not needed, the fact that Mom had gone to such trouble to make a lovely dinner for his family deserved the warmest gratitude. Yes, receiving kindnesses when offered and doing so with honest gratitude for the heart behind the gift is essential. Really, it’s basic courtesy which is grounded in respect and concern for others.

  10. Beverley says:

    Julie, Your perspective is right on. In order to give, someone must receive. Even in Ingrid’s post she initially had to admit that she needed to “receive”. I think “pride” can sometimes be a major factor in the not receiving as if it is a weakness. Everyone is blessed in the giving and receiving dynamics of life. The Word mentions the body of Christ working together. Each one doing their part to take care of one another.
    Self-sufficient people miss out on the blessing of receiving, however, in time the Lord allows circumstances to weaken the most strongest of individuals to eventually admit that they need “help”.

  11. Beverley says:

    Ingrid, just read your comment. Your poor mother. Graciously accept the meal. Freeze it if you don’t need it that day. Yes, basic courtesy grounded in respect and concern for others.

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