Preacher, H. Stephen Shoemaker shares this story:
Andy Catlett, a character in a Wendell Berry novel, has lost his right hand in a farm accident. This terrible loss has disoriented him. His right hand had been a way he connected to the world, held on to the world and now it was gone.
“When he lost his hand he lost his hold.”
He felt like a man falling down a steep cliff unable to catch hold of anything. And he heard these words:
He is held, though he does not hold....
Though he does not hold, he is
held. He is grieving, and he is
full of joy.
Shoemaker adds: And with this scrap of faith we little-faith people go on, in good times and bad, trusting the One sometimes near, sometimes far, who says “Lo, I am with you always,” through storm and through calm, trusting the One who reaches out his hand and hauls us out of the deep.
Sources: H. Stephen Shoemaker, ‘Walking on Water’, Myers Park Baptist Church, Charlotte, 4 May 2008.
Wendell Berry, “Remembering,” Three Short Novels (Washington, D.C.: Counterpoint, 2008), pp. 142, 167.
Image: Wendell Berry.