In HOPE 9.5

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David Timms

 Prayer for Today

Father, Son, and Holy Spirit, forgive my reluctance and indifference and renew a right spirit within me. Turn me this day from my distraction. I declare my desire to grasp You, too. I open my hands, releasing today's dreams, hopes, fears, and desires, that above all I might know You and be found in You -- responding to Your remarkable initiative and love. Amen.

Hope Happenings

This Saturday, May 2, 2009 at 7:00pm in the Auditorium, Hope International University's Department of Music presents Alive Forever! Amen! with the University Chorale, Vocal Ensemble and Jazz Ensemble, and featured soloists. No charge.

Hope International University
Fullerton  CA  92831


"And they heard the sound of the Lord God walking in the garden in the cool of the day, and the man and his wife hid themselves from the presence of the Lord God .... Then the Lord God called to the man and said to him, 'Where are you?'"  (Genesis 3:8-9)


Curled Fingers

Michelangelo's famous 16th century frescos on the ceiling of the Sistine Chapel in Rome include that memorable scene of two hands almost touching (see left). The one hand has a relaxed wrist and slightly curled fingers while the other reaches out quite decisively with the forefinger seeking to make contact.

The latter is the hand of God; always extended. The former hand belongs to us; casually indifferent and wondering whether to touch or withdraw.

The image surprises us. Humanity, just a little lower than God Himself, lacks enthusiasm to connect with Him. Meanwhile, the Father extends Himself as we ponder our level of interest.

Will we open our hand?

The image portrays us altogether too accurately. We extend our arm in the Father's general direction, vaguely and distractedly aware of His Presence, but remain reserved and a little closed. For good reason.

We intuitively know that to seize the hand of God means to hold nothing else. To grasp Him demands a complete and utter focus on Him. But we want so much else -- autonomy, control, power -- so we curl our fingers slightly or tightly.

Jesus defined eternal life as knowing the Father and the Son (John 17:3) -- the intimate knowledge that comes through contact not proximity. Thus, Michelangelo's fresco expresses not just his strong artistic capacity but a fundamental challenge to our timidity and half-heartedness.

The ordinariness of much of our Christian experience arises not from the Father's aloofness but our hesitation, our curled fingers.

May we find ourselves a little more open-handed this week, ready to reciprocate the Father's reach and release our reservations. Freedom will replace our fear and folly.





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David Timms serves in the Graduate Ministry Department at Hope International University in Fullerton, California. "In HOPE", however, is not an official publication of the University and the views expressed are not necessarily those of the Administrators or Board. "In HOPE" has been a regular e-publication since January, 2001.