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  • Katie Smith

First fist

Look at your the palm of your hands. There should be three dominant creases. Those creases give your hand muscles ample space to grip. You were probably opening and closing your fists long before you took your first breath. Our natural tendency has always been to hold tightly to that which we love. For that reason, parents melt when their newborns first grip their finger (forgetting that they've been practicing this picturesque moment for months).

My second son, Levi Joe, was born with one hand absent of all lines and creases. His right hand was completely smooth at birth, like a blank canvas, yet awkwardly cramped like a rigid plank. He was unable to bring his fingers down to the base of his hand, and still struggles to make a complete fist to this day. Even though it hinders him in many ways, his natural open-face palm proves more beneficial than burdensome because his life imitates this bold position.

A tight fist can signal camaraderie, unity, and personal strength. It signifies our desire for assurance and a need to fight for better or worse. On the other hand, an open-face palm usually signals worship, trust in the unknown, and full surrender. There is a time to fight, especially against evil in this world, but there is also a great need for our hands to release their tight grip.

When our fist rigidity increases, our freedom has been jeopardized. We seldom see the power of praise, yet our fists are clinging to the subject of our worship. Precious Levi doesn't need a plan, a cushion, or even parameters. He lives life open and ready for what each moment holds. While many a milestone and mountain has changed my perspective, Levi's life continues to change my own on a regular basis.

I once had a plan, and I didn't realize how tight my fists held those parameters. Now, my creases are slowly disappearing and opening to canvases never created by my own hands. The plans of a man's heart are many, but the Lord takes us by the hand and determines our steps. He leads us by still waters of freedom. For many, open hands have always been a lifestyle, while others find future in their fighting fists. Either way, it matters not except that we grow and change becoming more and more like Him who allowed others to hammer nails into the creases of his open hands in the name of surrender to His Father and love for His children.

Gripping too tightly to anything only tires our whole hand. Levi may not be able to hold on to anything for long, but that's what gives him such a peace. He understands how fickle and fleeting his fists and his life can be. Like trying to build a sand castle that never fades, Levi instead chooses to keep digging, looking for new treasures on the horizon.

~Fist opened carefully careless

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