Hands

by Valerie Yeva Shaw

God holds out His hand.
My own trembles
and is weak.
But still, I take hold.
He does the rest. 

To the human eye
the space behind me looks empty 
But there are two hands there 
Cupped to catch me when I fall,
Ready to push me when I hesitate,
Or shield me when I swerve into darkness.

His eyes watch over me. 
His breath stirs the hair on my head and the dust beneath my feet
And His blood in my veins 
reaches out 
Desperate to take hold of His lost children.  

Together we both laugh with delight 
At the old woman zipping up her grandson’s coat   
And the children praying for their dogs. 
How beautiful they are!

Together we go to the grocery store 
And He prods me to say hullo to the man with the cane and lumpy sweatshirt 
And talk about the prices of meat, and good recipes for that cut. 
The man tells me he is alone and only cooks for himself. He doesn’t know what on earth he is doing. 
He thinks he is only talking to me
But he isn’t. 

I know 
When I get angry at my husband, or the kids, or the dog that insists on chewing everything that is not nailed down
God isn’t happy. 
Neither am I.
And when it’s bigger- 
someone dying, dreams breaking, or fear spreading like dark fingers into my heart
And I want nothing more than to turn and flee
When I do
I run smack into His hands.

He might pat my head and send me back out 
Or He might let me hide there for a while 
Just long enough 
To get my feet going again. 
But, either way-
He is always there.

Valerie Yeva Shaw is a writer, author, and artist from the frigid tundra of Upstate New York. Previously, she has published two short stories in the Whitstead Anthologies; Whitstead Christmastide and Whitstead Harvestide, both available on Amazon and in Barnes and Noble. She has a Master’s Degree in Secondary Education and a Bachelor’s of Science in Creative Writing. In this season of her life, she is devoted to homeschooling her teenage son and daughter, while also working on several larger writing projects. She is a member of the Realm Makers Consortium, a Christian tribe of speculative fiction authors.

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