Open Heart, Empty Hands.


A few weeks ago, Junior came into my office and sat down. He looked at me, face intent. “I want you to do something for me.”

I tried not to laugh; he looked so serious. “Of course,” I said. “What?”

“Write me an email describing dependance and empowerment.”

I couldn’t help laughing. “Ok, sure. Why?”

“Tell you when you write it,” he said, and promptly got up and left.

Thoughts on dependance have been following me through my days ever since. I think I wrote him an answer about a little girl in Alotenango, Guatemala–which he’ll use to for his class–who will always be the face of hunger for me, about feeling helpless and having to trust God in the face of an absolutely hopeless situation.

I meant to leave it there, but the question of dependence keeps creeping up on me. It keeps showing up in every situation, giving me more visuals of what it looks like to be dependent.

It looks like the month I didn’t get to hear his voice for weeks at a time.

And it looks like the day my tire blew on the way to work and the mechanic told me I had to get four new ones.

And it really looks like this Sunday, when I woke up feeling so much pressure that my chest felt like it was going to collapse from the weight of it.

There is an ache in this kind of life, because it means that I have to continually give up my (overwhelming and epic) desire for control. It requires me to wake up, morning after morning, with an open heart and empty hands, believing Psalm 32:8 with everything in me.

“I [the LORD] will guide you along the best pathway for your life. I will advise you and watch over you.”

Lately, it means that every morning, when I talk to the LORD, I put my palms face up on my lap and whisper an old Quaker prayer. “Whatever you put into my hands today, LORD, I receive.” And then, turning them over, “Whatever you take from my hands I release.”

And I am not even close to perfectly dependent, or even perfectly obedient to be so. But I am willing to learn dependence. If this week is any indication, the LORD is equally willing to teach me.


One thought on “Open Heart, Empty Hands.

  1. Oh my beautiful roommate…He speaks and you write. You write and He speaks… I can not begin to tell you how much you bless me. Love you lady. Praying for you each and every day.

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