Back to the early months of this year, and as I journeyed through Lent a realisation was dawning on me. My hands were tightly grasping many things – hurt, unforgiveness, anger. If your hands are full of things it is impossible to take hold of anything else without letting go. I couldn’t hold on to good things, new things, because my hands were full already.
I didn’t know how to let go, but with Easter approaching I kept coming back to the the phrase I’d often heard about ‘laying things down at the foot of the cross’. I hate Christian jargon however I began to think about it more carefully; less about the particular clichéd phrase, more about the theology of the crucifixion and what accepting it fully meant. It was transactional in nature, and it seemed to me that there was a transaction which I needed to undertake in order to accept and enjoy its full significance.
I wrote this :
of the pain , which feels bodily and causes gasping for breath when it suddenly, brutally strikes, or lingers aching without ceasing
the rejection, which speaks of worthlessness, stupidity, tossed aside used and no longer needed
the injured pride. not bruised or dented, but bloody, torn and horribly mangled
the lost possibilities, so many, glittering, sparkling, alive
the betrayal, which cuts so deeply it has almost severed my arteries and caused my life to end
the lies, believed and yet false, turning people against me.
the sin, which masquerades as life, but is nothing but darkness
If I let go my hands will be empty
My fists won’t be clenched
I won’t be grasping at thin, weak strands which take all my energy to cling to
My hands will be empty
What will I do then?
With my empty hands I will have space to receive forgiveness, light, love, resurrection, hope
I will let them be touched gently, by he whose hands were nailed to the wood
I will let him take all that I am letting go
I will let him touch my hand, hold my hand, fill my hand
Empty hands. Lights in the darkness