Today’s First Reading from Isaiah 42 has God saying I have taken you by the hand and kept you. That is a rather lovely image, isn’t it? Perhaps you have experienced the hand of a loved one in yours, comfortable, tender, and joyous? Can you imagine what it would be like to have God be the One whose hand is grasping yours? I took great delight in those words when I read them.
I have spent some of the evening booking hotels in Spain for my trip. I am breathing much easier now and can start to look forward to what is to come. I cannot wait to hold hands with God in these holy places!! I had lunch with a friend of mine who did the Camino in the fall. While I will not be walking this famous pilgrimage site, I will eventually find myself in the town of Santiago. She has me very excited to be part of the town, the food, the Cathedral, and the overall holiness of the great cloud of witnesses that I will be joining.
I know many of you are wondering where exactly I am going. I will be going initially to Montserrat where St. Ignatius laid down his sword before the Black Madonna and Manresa where he wrote the Spiritual Exercises and had an encounter with the Divine. I will travel eventually to Loyola before heading to Santiago. I am still working out the rest of my trip but I will finish in Barcelona with friends.
I must admit to some stress about this trip. I am aware that I am not the Suzanne that usually hits the ground running and explores every little nook and cranny but despite lower energy levels, I am quite excited about walking in the footsteps of St. Ignatius. Now comes the surrendering of the journey. I will place my fears and health in God’s good hands and walk beside this Creator who longs to spend some holy time with me. That part I long for in ways that I cannot express. To be able to stand at the heights of a mountaintop and absorb the beauty of what I see thrills me. To that moment, I will add the image of God’s hand clasped in mine, standing together, soaking it all in. No words are necessary. Love speaks abundantly.
Can you imagine that God holds your hand and keeps you?
What if at every moment, you could feel God’s hand in yours, comforting and calming you? What might change for you?
Take my hand, Creator-God, and let me relish in the knowledge that you hold the entire world in those palms. You also choose to clasp my hand and never let it go. May I never try to wriggle out of your grasp. Keep me, Lord, keep me there. Amen.