She approaches from the line that stretches long through the middle of the ballroom.  The frail women among the souls strung waiting for prayer. She wears tired like a bathrobe, eyes half-mast, gait slow and steady.  Huddling in close, she shares the prayer request.  It isn’t what I expect.

With palms open, fingers lined boney, she looks at her hands, asks if we could pray that God would somehow anoint them. Breathe healing into the sinews and hold it there until she can touch her three friends back home with cerebral palsy. Because she wants to be a conduit of comfort, healing, restoration to the ones she loves.

And when I think this is perhaps a smoke screen – because asking for someone else is sometimes easier than exposing your own needs – I ask her if she wants us to pray for anything personally. She whispers quiet, “No, just this one thing for my friends. I want them to feel better.”

I wrap one arm around her boney shoulder the size of a child and like the widow giving her last mite she opens her hands expectant. And as we pray I touch her hand and those fingers curl tight with faith.

We ask Jesus for this one thing.

To impart healing to those hands because it’s all she has to give.

Open hands to touch lives with His grace.

When I wonder about my place in this world, if what I do makes a difference to anyone, I think about the woman with the outstretched hands. Hands that hold tight to Jesus, not for what she wants for herself, but what she can give away to the ones she loves.

And as the sea of turmoil rages wild, people turn chameleon to save themselves, sickness hangs its chains on the beloved, lies whisper loud to mask the truth, vows break like a changing lunch menu, my head turns swift toward perspective.

My eyes, my heart, my ears, my thoughts roam free from the distractions that swirl tornadic to these words of Jesus that bring me safely home like a boat resting on still water:

“You must love the Lord your God with all your heart, all your soul, and all your mind.  This is the first and greatest commandment. A second is equally important: ‘Love your neighbor as yourself.” ~Matthew 22:37-40

Everything else flows tributary from these two commands to find our place in the world. That place carved out that looks just like you.

He sent that aged, frail woman with the open palms to remind me. And I am thankful.

 Linking today with Ann, Jennifer and Emily.