these holy hands

Photograph taken by Jack’s friend Mark Cronin*.

Sometimes the language used to speak about the Divine, is antiquated and can get in the way of the deeper spiritual concept, but most writers of the 18th and 19th centuries, spoke of God in masculine terms. I have had to make peace with this and look beyond the limited use of language so I could have access to their wisdom, and this wasn’t easy for me.

In my thirties, I was a part of a spiritual group that read from certain texts at the beginning of every meeting. Since this material was written in the 30’s, there was no gender-neutral language, and so all references to God were in the masculine form. This drove me crazy and I took offense at it, so when it was my turn to read, I “corrected” every passage. It was a lot of work. Years later, a friend told me that it used to make her really nervous when I read. I’m not so sure it was my words, but probably more the judgement and anger behind them that she felt. I wanted a politically correct world so I could be comfortable in it damn it!

Thank God that I have evolved and grown. I love work of these early writers like Emerson, Emmet Fox, Emilie Cady, Thomas Troward, and others and have come to gratefully accept it in the form that it was given …by the hands and minds that wrote of concepts and thoughts that were beyond language, beyond duality of male/female, material/spiritual, good/bad and saw to the heart of Life.

“There is but one hand in the universe. It is God’s hand. Whenever you have felt that your hand was empty, it has been because you have believed yourself separate from God.  Your hand is God’s hand. My hand is God’s hand. Our Father reaches out though these, His only hands, to give His gifts. We have nothing to do with the supply. Our part is to pass out the good…” From, How I Used Truth, by H. Emilie Cady (1848-1941)

Over the weekend, I intend to spend some time looking at my own hands as Divine vehicles for passing out Love. I hope that you join me. I am imagining all sorts of hands (paws and claws included!) in a huge unbroken circle of Good.

19 thoughts on “these holy hands”

  1. Good Morning Mary, i love this weekend’s intention. In my series Divine Vessels hands play a very prominent role but i never really looked at them in the way you describe. thank you for that.
    also, I received my “Mary Balm” yesterday. i love them! thank you! also loved all the stamps on the envelope!! have a great weekend!

  2. Mary, the thing I like about this blog is the fact that when I wake up on a week-day day, I never know where you mind is going and what surprises await me when I open up my White Feather email. I have a friend, who, when I went into art college in my early 40’s, went into university & the ministry at the same time. She also experienced what you have expressed, the gender-based writings around religious concepts. She became tiresome actually in her ‘bra-burning’ phase, became very strident and yes, as you’ve expressed it, there was anger behind much of what she continually brought forth in connection to the male domination in the church and bible. And yet, she brought it to my attention, as well as to others, annoying at times, over the top, at times but I, too, have issues with formal religions and their male-dominated concepts. On the other hand, I would have trouble with any gender, male or female, domination. I see how the ‘collar’ automatically gives a minister respect, yet is not always deserved. I see my friend still, judgmental at times and human always. Yet, she has been a loyal friend, supportive when I’ve needed it and committed to her work. It’s interesting that you’ve brought this to the fore. I wonder where your mind tracks and the surprises you provide me are most always intriguing and thought provoking. I’m blessed to have found White Feather Farm blog.
    SandyP in Canada

  3. Oh Mary, Thank you for such a beautiful, powerful, thought provoking post!

    . I greatly love a bible passage which goes something like “Whatever you do unto the least of these, you do unto me”. I interpret this to include all the animals of the world that needed a helping hand to survive since they can not speak for themselves. My husband says it refers to people who need help. People or animals, which (who) amongst us has not needed a helping hand at some time or another. This weekend especially, I’ll pay attention to what my hands are offering, as I notice and appreciate the help I receive from others’ hands as well as from the paws of my beloved kitties.

    I think I’m set for a joyful weekend.
    Love to all WFFF members.
    From Fran

    PS We are currently struggling with the he/she issue at our church also. Strong feelings on all sides. I like your thought about the context of language as a basis for discussion

    PS I love the photograph which illustrates such beautiful hands, perfectly suited to accomplish life tasks of their owner.

  4. I love this! In the book of Genesis, God said “Let us make man in our image”. Since Eve was made also in God’s image, He must have all of her female attributes. I think when we arrive at our heavenly home and meet God face to face, we will be VERY surprised in Who we see!

  5. Oh how I love this! It’s giving me a cool idea for a painting also! Thank you, Mary. I will let you know what happens:)

    1. Isn’t that a beautiful thing about Mary’s messages going out into the world – like ripples, they touch our hearts and Molly, your creativity is being sparked too today, how exciting!

  6. A most loving, kind post and weekend focus, Mary. Thank you! I too have often struggled with what I thought was a limited language used to express the limitless. Your thoughts today help remind me to let go of the language and focus instead on the beauty, power and grace of that which can not be described, but which is the source of all things. I hope everyone has a weekend filled with goodness and light!

  7. I am thankful today for all of your (plural) insight and wisdom…wishing everyone a wonderful weekend…Marian

  8. I wish I could remember where I saw a photograph of five pairs of female hands in a circle, lightly touching each other’s – from an infant’s to an old woman’s – it was so thought provoking, the newness of the baby’s – what will she do with these tiny hands in her lifetime? and all through the stages of life – how many dishes has this old woman’s hands washed, faces caressed? paintings painted, balls batted, flowers planted, all the miraculous things we are able to do with these hands of ours. Mary, you will make me very conscious this weekend how I use mine. Last weekend I had my nine year old grandson Jacob for an overnight and we had a ball at the swimming pool playing “Rocket Booster”, a game we made up – he placed his legs on my upper thighs in the water, facing me while I held his ankles and crouched down On the count of 3, dipping back and forth into the water, he with this hands on my shoulders – he ‘blasted off’!, doing a backwards flip as I propelled him away from me – bless his little heart, – he’d do his backflip, and come swimming right back to my waiting arms for a big hug (and then repeat, repeat, repeat) – I kept thinking to myself, will he want to do this next year as a big boy of ten? I cherish these days when he still wants to swim back to my waiting arms, where my hands can hug him close and maybe even sneak in a kiss on his slippery cheeks! Holding hands with all of you across the miles!

  9. i can only say, me too, mary. thanks for the post. i especially like the “claws and paws” included. i love you. may it be well for all of us.

  10. Love this post, Mary, especially the “paws and claws” part because, as you know, my life is revovling around the paws of a big Golden!

    May everything we all touch this weekend come to receive nothing but peace, blessings, healing and compassion. From my house to all of yours, I send you love.

  11. I immediately think of so many ways we give meaning to “hand.”
    “Give her a hand.” “Give him a hand up.” “Reach out.” “‘hand’le with care.” “Stay in touch.” “High five.” “Hand jive.” “Hands across America.” (remember that?) “Hand out.” And so much more. There are also negative meanings, of course.
    “Hand out.” (positve or negative, depending upon your political leaning.)
    “I”ll give you the back of my hand.”
    I don’t want to search my brain for anymore of the latter.

    I hope we all have a weekend of happy hands.

  12. Thank you for sharing this. I want to save it to my religious folder. I’ve never been bothered by the masculine/feminine pronouns about God, but I loved what you said about God’s Hands and our hands.

  13. I’m a nurse and am at work today, Saturday. A patient told me I have “healing hands.” Thought right away of the “hands” focus for the wk-end. Made me smile.

    1. Sally, how wonderful and how gratifying when a patient says that to you. It would warm me up twice over hearing that.
      SandyP in Canada

  14. My hands have been busy in another state with a sort-of gramma who, at 97, should not be living alone anymore. Then our hands danced down the Oregon coast over the sand and surf. And now I’m back home with hands for our abandoned kitties and pups, while hubby practices his fiddle for yet another voluntary concert for local folks. What miracles, and let’s think, too, of those without hands anymore and send them Light!

  15. I am catching up with some recent posts that I missed because I was attending a Myofascial Release seminar last week and weekend, It was all about healing hands. Everyone that touched me was unique, but the common denominator was the love. It was an amazing experience and the Emilie Cady quote expresses it perfectly.

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