These are the hands of my life. [not pictured: the other 15 people in the room whose hands we couldn’t fit]

These are the hands that hold mine to pray; these are the hands that hold my daughter so my husband and I can catch a movie; these are the hands that lovingly brought us food after Charlotte was born; these are the hands that type silly message

See those little hands on the bottom left? Those hands will shape the world one day.

See the big hands on the top right? Those hands threw touchdowns for the University of Missouri.

See the two hands with thumbs intertwined at the bottom? That’s a husband and wife constantly in support of one another. [also, my nails need a fill #momlife]

Do you SEE all of these hands? Imagine what they could do in the world. Imagine who the people are, what they’ve done, what they could accomplish, the things they’ve seen, the places they’ve been, and the people’s lives they’ve touched.

These hands, and more importantly, these people gather- in community.

Hebrews 10:24-25 tell us, “And let us consider how we may spur one another on toward love and good deeds, not giving up meeting together, as some are in the habit of doing, but encouraging one another- and all the more as you see the Day approaching.”

There are hands in this photo who send messages of encouragement throughout the week; there are hands in the photo asking for prayers for a dear friend; there are hands in this photo that created a meal-train for a non-believer so that she and her family may experience the love of Christ.

These hands are beauty. They are love. And the best part? Not one is the same as the other. They’re all different sizes and colors, and yet all striving toward the same thing: loving one another as Christ loves us.

It’s so hard in today’s world to continue gathering, especially among those of different races. Imagine the arguments that could stir up; imagine the tension; imagine the ability to offend one another. Then again… imagine the love; imagine the acceptance; imagine the support; imagine the ears to hear another side; imagine the unity.

We are constantly seeing division in the news, hearing about it from others, and waiting to experience it in our own lives.

But… you know what I love? Hope. The hope of photos like these; the hope of these hands. Our children need to see photos like this one! They need to know that not everyone is divided, that there is beauty and unity in many. They need to see this, and so do we.

What a beautiful reminder it is to see so many hands, so many colors, so many ages, and so many stories- all brought together and giving all the glory to God.

Romans 15:5-7: “May the God who gives endurance and encouragement give you the same attitude of mind toward each other that Christ Jesus had, so that with one mind and one voice you may glorify the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ. Accept one another, then, just as Christ accepted you, in order to bring praise to God.”

This is acceptance, one mind, one voice, and all love. Praise God and let us not forget the power of community… and our hands. May they always be filled with color and a spread of ages, yet always standing together.

Elisabeth Brown

Elisabeth Brown hails from Tennessee but resides just outside of Austin, Texas. She likes to balance work and play, though doesn't mind when that line gets blurred. Her favorite things all live under the same roof where the residents may have two or four legs. Teamwork is the name of the game in her marriage and the kitchen is where she thrives, whether it's making a bottle or cooking for friends. Her heart and home always seems full.