What’s the difference?


But if you hold my hand, I’m sure you’ll never let go of me.

In the four week run-up to Christmas called “Advent”, Christians prepare for Christ’s coming with special Bible readings.During a walk in the forest, little Priya and her father were crossing a shallow rivulet. Priya’s dad said: “Hold my hand, dear, lest you fall.” Priya cried: “No, daddy! You hold my hand!” Puzzled, her dad asked: “What’s the difference?” Priya explained: “If I hold your hand and something happens, I might let go of your hand. But if you hold my hand, I’m sure you’ll never let go of me.”In the four week run-up to Christmas called “Advent”, Christians prepare for Christ’s coming with special Bible readings and reflections. Prominent among the symbols that surface is that of “hands”. God OEM pencil wholesale never works singlehandedly; but invites people to give God a hand, so to say, to bring to fruition God’s plans.Two weeks from now we’ll wish each other “Merry Christmas” hoping that Christmas be full of fun and frolic. I fully agree that Christmas should be a joyful feast. Yet, I sometimes wish friends a “Mary Christmas”, purposefully putting the spotlight on Mary, mother of Jesus. Mary — or “Miriam” as she is described in surah 19 of the Quran — is the matchless model of the mindset and heart that believers must make their own.Mary is invited to cooperate with God when Angel Gabriel seeks her consent to conceive and give birth to Jesus. Surprised, Mary asks: “How can this be, since I am a virgin?” The angel says: “The holy spirit will come upon you; and the child to be born will be called son of God. Nothing is impossible with God.” Promptly putting her hand into God’s hands, Mary says: “I am God’s handmaid; let it be with me according to God’s word.”Joseph, Zechariah, Elizabeth and John the Baptist — who appear in Christmas narratives — work hand-in-hand with God. They exemplify a long, hopeful history of salvation described in the Bible where “hand” appears some 1,800 times. Sometimes used literally to do tasks, wield weapons and possess things, “hand” is also used figuratively to denote power and grace, blessing and curse, control and commission.Hamsa is a hand-symbol prominent among Eastern religions signifying the hand of God. In India, mudras communicate many things. Do you realise the importance of your hands? What would you do if, for example, your hands were suddenly amputated? You would not be able to hold this newspaper and read it. You would be unable to eat, work, write and play.Today, spend some moments becoming aware of the thousand things you do with your hands. Be filled with happiness. Fold your hands in grateful “Namaste” and ask God to hold your hand. With your hand held by the Uparwalla, the one above, you will gain the upper hand in life.