My church ordained my friend Kathy on Sunday night. After her testimony, some worship, a word from our pastor, the laying of hands and communion, we sang the benediction. Lost in the song, I was startled when a hand grabbed mine. It was my dad’s. He gestured for me to join hands with the next person. I crossed the aisle and held out my hand. Before long, the entire congregation was singing hand in hand. It had not been planned or previously suggested. It just happened.
Holding hands is one of Kathy’s favorite things. I don’t think our friend Rob was aware of that when he initiated the hand holding. I, however, did know, and I could hardly sing for the stirring of my soul and my tears.
I am constantly surprised by how well God loves us. In all the ways we go about doing what we’ve planned, there is no way to prepare for how the Spirit breaks in and shakes everything around. In those moments, there is peace, and there is God lifting us above ourselves.