by Robert Brow (www.brow.on.ca) Kingston, Ontario, August 2007
Today I had no inclination to eat my morning puree. Liz Dafoe, who belongs to the St. Paul’s Anglican congregation, and lives upstairs, was in the kitchen. I asked her to hold my hand and give me the energy I needed. I was soon able to eat, and now I am writing this little piece.
The passing of spiritual energy is what visitors can best impart. They just sit by the person, take his or her hand, and somehow the patient feels encouraged and strengthened. Mothers know that taking a sick child’s hand, an sitting quietly, is often more help than rushing around and doing this and that.
Prayer is a way of doing this from a distance. We take the person’s hand by faith, and unknown to us spiritual energy is imparted.
But often we have no one to do this for us. Asking the Lord to take our hand gives us access to all the energy we could need. Here is a hymn that expresses this very beautifully :
"Precious Lord, Take my hand, lead me on, let me stand;
I am tired, I am weak, I am worn; through the storm, through the night, lead me on." (Thomas A. Dorsey, 1899-1993 in Common Praise, Anglican Church of Canada, #509).