I miss holding hands. I miss having someone reach out and want mine in theirs. To spontaneously reach over and touch, my fingers, the back, to stroke, just because they can and it feels good to touch, to want. The kids still do from time to time, but I try very hard to be their place of comfort and not need them to be mine. And it is different with your child. So my hand hangs, a lot.

This morning I missed it more than most. And laying in bed before the world awoke I asked God to hold mine. But it didn’t feel that different, just the coldness, the quiet stillness of morning all around.

An hour later I asked again. I asked God to hold my hand. And He told me to walk and so I did. I walked all around the house, every single room, the garage, walking everywhere to find something, to feel something, but it didn’t feel that different. My hand, still, hanging down, low. And so I sat down and pleaded a bit saying, “Please God, I just need you to hold my hand. It’s been so long and I am so tired of being alone.” He asked me to walk outside, and so I did, into my backyard around the pool, the grass, the roses. It was a soft morning today, did you see it too? The sun was warm, the breeze gentle and several birds were singing. I sat on the grass enjoying the beauty, my hand still hanging low.

It didn’t feel very different. And I asked, well. maybe a little demanding, “When God? When will you finally hold my hand?” He laughed at me, He finds me rather silly and sometimes pretty downright pushy. And He said He already had. This didn’t make sense to me. I told Him I didn’t feel Him, my hand was still hanging down, low. So He asked me to lie down, to wrap my arms around myself and let my hands rest upon my ribs in hug. And so I did. My skin was soft there, cool on the side nearer the grass and warmer on the one facing the sun. I could feel the breeze upon my hand, the heat from the sun. And He asked,

“Now? Now do you feel Me?” I was feeling a little bit silly, embarrassed, sometimes with God I feel so young, disobedient even when I try. I knew I was missing something, missing Him, but I try not to lie, and I told Him sadly,

“No God, no I don’t feel you.” He sighed and asked me to sigh with Him. Both of us sighing side by side, my ribs rising and falling, feeling each one with every breath, my skin soft there, one side cool, one side warm, the breeze blowing. My hands were wrapped all around me, so completely full of me with every breath, my skin, my ribs, asking God to hold them, asking God to hold my hands. And then I cried just a little in that moment, that bittersweet moment turning into something sweet, a tender little joy as I was feeling Him holding me with every sigh just as tightly as I was holding Him. My hands, thank you dear God, no longer hanging down low, were
now full.

Heather M. Browne @HeatherMBrowne3 ‏ is a faith-based psychotherapist, recently nominated for the Pushcart Award, published in the Orange Room, Boston Literary Review, Page & Spine, Eunoia Review, Poetry Quarterly, Red Fez, Electric Windmill, Apeiron, The Lake, Knot, mad swirl.  Red Dashboard published two collections: Directions of Folding and Altar Call of Trumpets