As the words and music from the spiritual song, “He’s got the whole world in his hand,” swirl around in my head and spirit, I was pleased to find a modern icon representing this song on social media. The image is Jesus, the great physician, with stethoscope around his neck, gently holding the image of a person, whose face and hands are the green of the continents and the blue of the seas. The blanket wrapped around the figure represents the countries of the world. Tears trickle from the person’s closed eyes. There is a sacredness, a beauty, in the moment as I gaze upon the icon, yet a sense of despair and grief lingers. I pray with the image and am drawn into the sacred space that Jesus creates for us. What beauty and peace there is in being held by God!
I pray with the image every morning and evening. Not only does it remind me of the spiritual song, but also the beautiful scripture from Proverbs 30:4 – “God holds us in the palm of his hand.” The image is powerful and peaceful. It radiates love and light in times of doubt, despair, and loneliness. How very tender and sweet to know that God is holding each of us in the palm of his hand, the whole wide world in his hand.
Through these turbulent times, I cry out in the words of Psalm 57:1.
Have mercy on me, my God, have mercy on me,
for in you I take refuge.
I will take refuge in the shadow of your wings
until the disaster has passed.
We lift our voices in song and prayer. We are grateful for the promised refuge, even when we do not understand, and we try to navigate a world, so suddenly changed. We remember the promise made to us.
Jesus said, “Remember, I am always with you until the end of time.” -Matthew 28:20
And in this silent time of prayer, mediation, and conversation, there is peace, a call to walk in faith and the hope which shines through the unknown and the darkness.
May we know the peace which passes all understanding, as our faithful God holds us in the palm of his hand.
May we know comfort and protection as we take refuge under the shadow of God’s wing.
May we seek God, who is always with us.
And through the grief, despair and change, may light penetrate any darkness so we may walk in faith and hope.
To God, we give all the glory and praise. Amen
-The Rev. Jackie Whitfield