“The heart that breaks open can contain the whole universe.” Joanna Macy
“He’s got the whole world, in His hands. He’s got the whole wide world…
He’s got the itty bitty babies, in His hands…
He’s got the mamas and the papas, in His hands…”
I sang that song with my kids a while back and realized what a sweet, gentle picture it created in my head.
Giant, soft, smooth hands full of well-cared-for babies and constantly-smiling mothers and fathers.
A pretty, happy picture. I can see myself in those hands, my children, too.
But it’s FAKE.
For starters, my scene doesn’t include much of the world’s population.
To be accurate, I should see crack babies, starving people, sex slaves, and suicidal teens along with the dimpled infants and upper-crust citizens (who honestly comprise only a few percent of the world’s population).
But that’s still not really “true.” I’ve just lumped in the “victims.” The upper-crust set may shrink back from the dirt carried in by the crack babies and crew, but they can think, “At least we’re all deserving.”
Ah, I need another adjustment in my picture—because that kind of thought MUST make God laugh.
So the massive hands in my imagined scene stretch a bit, and I see, hidden in the crevices, the “others.”
Pimps, drug addicts, sadists and dictators, child molesters, murderers.
They’re in the mix, too.
But when the hands stretched—oh, dear—the well-fed slipped down among the others. They lost their shoes and tore their clothes, and, oh, they are not so polished any more. Hurtful, damaged souls throb in plain sight now, so it’s clear they aren’t any different from the rest. They only think they are (and THAT has kept them from nestling deep into the cupped hands.)
Yes, the cupped hands! They, too, are unlike my initial picture. They are NOT soft and smooth, groomed and manicured.
They are cracked, bruised, scuffed, and scarred.
All because God’s heart broke wide, wide open,
And His arms stretched out,
And His head hung low,
His hands, His beautiful, scarred hands,
Could hold the WHOLE world.