Open Hands

On Sunday, I visited the local Episcopal church to witness the confirmation service. St. John’s is the oldest in the city, built in 1866. I struggled just a bit keeping up with the service – when to sit, when to respond, which book to use – and yet the presence of honor and worship was so sweet that my bumbling couldn’t matter. Christ is loved there and you can almost hear the voices of decades before reading the prayers with a bowing of the knees.

Instructions in the bulletin helped me know how to hold my hands to receive the bread when I went forward, knees first, for communion: “To receive the consecrated bread, extend your hands upward, palms crossed.”

As I knelt before a cross where the holiness of God is lavish love, I thought about the times when what came to me made me want to clench my fists and refuse it. I was so thankful for Christ’s own struggle with receiving His role from the Father, and in submission allowing me to not only have life, but to fill my role in the Father’s design – thankful and able because of His open hands and outstretched arms.

There still are circumstances difficult to accept, but the more I open my hands to receive, the more I feel His grace on the gift.  Some gifts, dressed like problems, are situations that may take years or require major change, filled with challenge, but with His presence and grace, He helps me be thankful.  Eucharist is thanksgiving and I celebrate it!  With every challenge that comes, my trust in Him grows.

My hands are more open than they used to be.

Note: I attended St. John’s to honor the confirmation of William Douglas, a high school senior, who has had every reason to be disappointed and angry.  He has survived much rejection and family difficulty, and learned to look to the Father and receive from Him.  He is gifted with an amazing outlook on life and expects the best from God and finds He still blesses in abundance.

My mother’s former piano and organ pupil, William is a gifted musician and plans to study organ performance after a year at St. John’s as music minister intern.  He is an example of open hands and a heart of expectation.  His Heavenly Father smiles upon him as He shows him a future filled with hope, and we are blessed as we watch William allowing God to heal and lead.  His life is an inspiration.

On the left, William with his grandparents, and then Will with Bishop Lawrence, after Sunday’s service.


(c) October 31, 2011 – Robin Lawrimore


8 thoughts on “Open Hands

  1. Robin Lawrimore

    On Sunday, William played his Fugue in G Minor that accompanied a prelude by Bach. From his open hands, having received from God this gift, flows new music that comes from the heart of God through William’s fingers on the keys. Beautiful, worshipful, majestic, the piece focused all present on the Christ – the reason for being there.


  2. Rosa

    He looks happy. It is great that you show your support to him by being there.I’m sure that meant alot to him. And the way you write makes me want to go listen to Bach!


  3. Galletta

    Hi Robin, Your post about William is soo very touching. He is indeed a very talented young man and we are thrilled to have him with us at St. John’s. As part of the choir, it is difficult to know if what we do every Sunday ever touches the heart of any one. This post was read at choir practice and many in the choir were touched as we did not know of William’s background. Thank you for posting. God bless you and come back any time.

    SC Blu Cat Lady


    • Robin Lawrimore

      Oh thank you so very much! We are so happy at how the Lord opened the doors for William to be there and that he’s greatly loved! I have been blessed by the services, the communion, and the music. The choir and William make a great team, and I am honored that my words were read there. I pray the Lord bless you all abundantly, and I plan to see you again soon.


  4. Wendy Maree

    Thank you for a wonderfully uplifting story. May William continue forward experiencing the reality of God’s goodness day by day. I love the picture of open hands, especially around Communion. each time we go to the rail, it is an act, not only of love, but also of faith. What will God decide to impart of Himself as we receive with open hands? All we know is that He does impart. One of the sayings i read about has become a slogan in our group is “Say thank you for all that is past, and yes to all that is to come.”


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