Sometimes I wake up in the middle of the night with my hands clenched and guarding my heart. I’m sure it’s stress, but it doesn’t change the little exercise I go through — opening my hands wide and spreading my fingers, willing them to stay open while I fall back asleep.
Open hands feel vulnerable. I have to be very intentional about it.
My son Sam went to British Columbia for school and adventure. Adventures like climbing sheer rock faces.
But not ones like this:
Once he called me and said, “Mom! The coolest thing happened this weekend while I was climbing!”
“What?” I asked, thinking it would be a wildlife sighting or a beautiful vista.
“”I fell!!” he said.
My heart stopped. I felt my stomach squeeze.
“It was so cool!” he continued. “The rope caught me!”
“Don’t tell me stories like that,” I said.
Really. I can’t handle them.
But while Sam was out there, I learned to pray with open hands. I could do nothing to change what would happen — just pray.
And let go.
It felt very vulnerable.
I emptied a drawer in my mother’s dresser a month or so ago.
It was still filled with her things and the smell of my mother overwhelmed me when I pulled the drawer open. I don’t know that I can accurately describe what that smell is. Powder? Tussy deodorant? Sachets? Tissue?
I pressed my lips into a grim line and dumped the contents of the drawer into a large tote.
Then I did the same with another drawer.
Nearly four years after my mother died, I finally emptied her dresser.
When my sister came to visit, I pulled the tote downstairs for her to sort through.
Letting go of my mother’s things felt vulnerable. But right.
I’m worrier by nature.
And a breath-holder in stressful situations.
I don’t like change.
My tendency is to hold on.
Blessed are those with open hands, for they shall know peace.