He flips a coin. Heads, I hold your hand. Tails, I don’t.
Twenty-six years ago, we walked the steep hill in my parents backyard in a courtship of new love. Every year that brushes past us tries to pull us apart with schedules, work, children and busy, busy lives.
The coin landed. Heads. This man had and still has “builder hands.” What a surprise to this “genteel lady,” who wasn’t sure if this was love. Rough, hard-working hands, that wrapped around my fingers with a delicate care and gentleness.
I taped that coin into my journal and remember the day my builder held my hand for the first time. Forging a promise to not take our love by chance of a coin, or the hope that we will stick this out. Purposefully reaching out even when our hearts may hold frustrations, anger or a weary spirit of defeat. There is something about pushing through moments like this to wrap your hand into or around another that speaks to the promise that says, “I am still here.”
Every Sunday, I take a peek down the long pew of children that God has brought into our family. Each week, they choose to sit next to someone different. We always keep the youngest whirlwind with us. There is nothing sweeter than the moments in worship when I feel a small hand slip into mine and hold dear. And then on my left, I feel those familiar strong hands wrap around mine again and again.
The moments I look down the pew and see all of our children, with hands joined like a strong link, with worship to the Lord reminds me that we need to keep holding onto our love for one another. Unabashed the youngest holding hands with the oldest and all mixed up ages saying to one another, “I am here.”
The builder calls the family into the middle of the kitchen before every meal. We gather in a large circle and link hands again. I am reminded how many times we do this. Holding hands. I never realized the power of this presence. The world isn’t going to slow down for us, but we can slow down together.
The strong hand on my left is my anchor. The little hands that I wrap in prayers, at meals, on the Sabbath, or when they hurt inside or out carries the love from one heart to another.
Even when there is disagreement, busy days, conflict - reach out and hold on.
Don’t let the dirt or the callousness come between you. Holding hands connects the hearts when words or actions cannot.
Keep your love alive. The best kept secret of long love.