Hand in hand

by DanWolgemuth on September 16, 2022

His was the first day of second grade. A new school. Unfamiliarity in excess. Hers was the start of school. Kindergarten. Again, all new… facilities, instructors, administrators and relationships. New.

But as Abe and Juni ventured off to school together on day one, they had something that transcended new. Something that more than equalized the uncertainty. They had each other. And so, hand in hand, they walked into elementary school together. Yes, hand in hand. A big brother. His little sister. Unmarked, unmoved, and unaware of any narrative that would make such a display out of step, or uncool.

What Juni and Abe knew was that a strange environment was no match for shared, consistent and persistent love. A red carpet may have signaled a welcome, but a warm hand assured safety and security.

Separate classrooms. Different teachers. Unfamiliar faces… but companions. Sojourners. Family. Friends. Advocates. Guardians.

Abe and Juni weren’t coached or coerced into holding hands. They wanted to. They needed to. A seven-year-old and a five year old.

So when did the rest of us stop holding hands? When did we start believing that it was weak, or overly sentimental, or unfashionable, or restrictive, or dependent?

Words like isolated, alone, disconnected, alienated, or overlooked often surface as descriptors of our culture and society. Perhaps because we stopped reaching out to hold a hand. Perhaps because we stopped looking for others who had their hands out. Perhaps because individualism became the god that we worshiped. Perhaps because autonomy became the expectation and then the demand. Perhaps because it’s harder to take a selfie when you’re holding somebody’s hand. Perhaps because we believed that what was true for Adam in the Garden, is not true for me.

Alone isn’t what we were made for.

In our preoccupation with self, we stopped looking to the margins for hands to hold. In our image consciousness we elevated appearance above authenticity.

The dial tone of our soul is independence. And with this dial tone comes the illusion of control and freedom.

Not for Juni and Abe. Hand in hand into the unknown, because your hand in mine makes it known.

The warmth of your hand against the cold reality of the unfamiliar.

When? When did we stop reaching out? When did we stop looking for others with outstretched hands? When did we start misinterpreting individualism for strength? When?

But Jesus said, “Let the little children come to me and do not hinder them, for to such belongs the kingdom of heaven.” And he laid his hands on them and went away. (Matthew 19:14–15)

Hand in hand to a new classroom. Hand in hand as a classroom taught by children. Hand in hand with the full endorsement of Jesus.

Together. It’s how we were designed. It’s how we survive. It’s how we flourish.

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