“Hold my hand.” I remember my Mom asking my siblings and I to do this before we crossed parking lots or intersections when we were little. I recently got the opportunity to practice saying it myself when my wife and I took some of our friends’ kids to Chuck E Cheese. I’m sure that most of you are already wondering where I’m going with this but before you judge me, let me explain (or speculate).
I think the phrase “hold my hand” (in the context of kids and cars) is unintentionally undervalued. We, as adults, often say it to kids out of habit (because it keeps them from getting hit by cars), but don’t understand what we’re nonverbally communicating. In the mind of a child, when they hear the words, “hold my hand,” it’s a big deal. It’s a trust exercise. They hear, “trust me, I know what’s best for you and will keep you safe.” If they actually do trust us, they’ll most likely give us their hand and in doing so, surrender their will and power to us. The trust, tested and affirmed in their minds, is evidenced by a physical response.
I think the same concept applies in the church, especially during musical worship. There are times when the words we sing are affirmed by our physical response hence postures of worship. I don’t talk about postures of worship all that often, but I believe that they are powerful. They are evidence that the words we hear and sing affect our lives beyond Sunday morning, which is our prayer when we gather each weekend.
We’re going to be singing Unchanging in Resonate this weekend. The chorus sings, “so we raise up holy hands to praise the Holy One was and is to come.” Those words are is the pinnacle of the song yet we often sing them, myself included, with hands down. I totally get that there are times when we just need to take in the words of a song, but maybe we’re missing something by not doing what it says?
As the song describes, God is faithful. Because of who He is, what He has done and is doing, He is worthy of our praise. He is worthy of our singing and lifted hands (Psalm 63:3-4). We use our hands to a lot! Think of all the things that we use them for (eating, working, playing, writing, etc.). In a general sense, we use our hands to do everything. When we lift our hands, we’re surrendering control of them. We’re saying, “Okay God, use my hands and life as You will. You’re in control.”
Maybe that’s what we need to do this weekend. It’s easy to just sing the song and not think about what it’s telling us to do, but maybe God wants us to have a “hold My hand as we cross the street” kind of moment. Maybe this is our trust exercise. I encourage you to prayfully consider this before we gather this Sunday.