By Roger Campbell
“I have one more thing to tell you before we finish,” said the pleasant voice near the end of our phone conversation, relating then how she had been about to enter a nearby mall when she saw a man and woman approaching who were holding hands. “You don’t see that much anymore,” she said, adding, “when this couple drew nearer I recognized them to be you and your wife.”
Pauline and I have been holding hands for a long time. Hand holding started early for us and we’ve never found a reason to stop. But I must tell you of another dimension to our hand holding that began long ago.
While I was away in college, we each chose a Bible verse we thought would be good for life. Without any knowledge of what the other would choose, we each settled on Isaiah 41:13: “For I the LORD thy God will hold thy right hand, saying unto thee, Fear not; I will help thee.”
We placed our hands in the hand of the One who stilled the waters and this two-way hand holding has made our marriage survive and thrive.
We’ve lived in the same scenic subdivision for many years so neighbors have watched us stroll hand in hand along the lake, and up and down these hills hundreds of times. One woman told us she and her family started attending our church because they kept seeing us walk past their house so often.
Our all time favorite place to walk is along the sandy shore of Lake Michigan. After one of those romantic walks, I wrote:
We walked along a beach today,
And watched the waves beating against the sand,
in rhythm with our hearts as we walked hand in hand.
We left our footprints by the sea
to show that we had walked together, you and me.
Then when those watery hands reached out
our tracks were gone;
still we walk on and on.
Just as we were finishing one of those pleasant walks, we saw a woman sitting on a blanket, sobbing; her hands covering her face.
“May I help you,” I asked.
“I saw you and your wife holding hands,” she replied, explaining through her tears that her husband had been diagnosed with cancer and seeing us walk together made her wonder how much time they had left to share.
Joining hands, we prayed for this weeping woman and her husband, explaining things might turn out much better than expected. And we spoke from experience. At one time, Pauline’s life had been in jeopardy. But then, in answer to the prayers of many, the Great Physician took over and these many years later, we’re still holding hands.
Roger Campbell is an author, a broadcaster and columnist who was a pastor for 22 years. He can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org