A message from the Rev’d Amanda Collinson

Posted by Admin on 26 June 2019, 4:05 pm

Amanda Collinson


St John the Baptist Church



Tel: 01983 294913

Email: amandacollinson01@gmail.com




Hands……what songs come to your mind when you think of this word? Max Bygraves ‘You need hands’? The advert ‘Hands that do dishes are as soft as your face….’? Ottawan’s ‘Hands Up, baby hands up’, the Beatles ‘I want to hold your hand’?  or for the heavy metal fans amongst you Bon Jovi’s ‘Lay your hands on me’……no I was never a rocker, but that is a good song!
Whether we like old Max Bygraves or not, his title is very true….and is something I have thought about these past few months as I have had one carpal tunnel operation and I am waiting for the next. Through my recovery, when I was unable to use my dominant hand, I realised how much we need them and how hard life is when you do not have the use of them (something concurred by a farmer today who is struggling to feed his pigs with one hand after breaking some fingers!), and yet I am sure many of us really do not think about much or acknowledge them as an important part of our body….
For most of us, our hands are exposed every day, except if we work in the hospital or somewhere else where gloves are a necessity…. or are the Queen! Our nails may be chewed or carefully polished, we may wear rings on them, we may have scars or tattoos on them….and as a result they can say quite a lot about who we are.  They can show signs of what they have done (my Dad’s hands are huge and still super strong but they are also scarred and weathered) and they can hold the future – I had the joys of holding out a little finger of mine for a baby to grip with her little hand.
As well as the practical things we use our hands for in our daily life – cutting our food, holding our drinks, they are also able to do so much more…..  They can be Helping hands – with tasks, through support; they can be Caring hands – squeezing, holding, hugging others (My eldest son is a Cub and his section learnt how to massage hands so they could give some hand cream and a hand massage to their Mums for Mothering Sunday……best gift I have had for a Mothering Sunday to date!); they can be Outstretched hands – of welcome (remember that famous scene of Princess Diana welcoming her boys on the boat!?) all the way through to the sacrifice Jesus made on the cross and the holes of the nails he showed his disciples when he resurrected from the dead; they can be Healing hands used in medical procedures or simply through prayer.
For 9 days in June, Christians around the world were asked to pray for 5 people that they wanted to come to know Jesus and feel his love.  We were encouraged to use our hands and have each person linked with a finger or thumb so we could pray for them whilst holding a digit.  It was a simple task and one I enjoyed doing.  I also recently did an assembly in a local school about the importance of hands and how we use ours. And then there is the wonderful simple action prayer using 5 fingers on a hand, with each digit representing someone different in your life and specific things you want to pray for them: The thumb represents those close to you, your dear family and friends, the Index finger is for those that point you in the right direction and you pray for their wisdom and support, the Middle finger (normally the tallest) represents those that lead us i.e. the Queen, government, council where you pray for guidance and wisdom for them, the Ring finger (generally the weakest) is for those that are weak, in trouble or in pain and finally the Little finger for ourselves and our own needs.  Anyone who tells me they don’t know how to pray I always recommend the Hand prayer – you cannot go wrong with it!
And as with so many things, hands are things that are always around us (quite literally) and yet we do not appreciate the significance or importance of them until we are not able to use them as much as we were able – my heart goes out to those of you who have the debilitating pain of arthritis in your hands.
So in these summer months, I would encourage you to be grateful for your hands, to make sure you use them and look after them and also be aware how important they can be for other people – whether it’s clapping your grandchild for doing something great, to holding someone else’s hands as they comes to terms with a recent bereavement or simply giving me a ‘High Five’ when you see me next!  As Audrey Hepburn once said, ‘As you grow older, you will discover that you have two hands, one for helping yourself, the other for helping others.’


I wish you a wonderful summer, full of highs and happiness!

Rev’d Amanda


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