On the Palms of My Hands

November 20, 2019 | Miles Christi

I have the joy of being a Chaplain and Spiritual Director at a Catholic High School in San Diego. Every year before graduation the students sign one another’s year books. But this year, instead of just signing the books, the students had a great idea. They also signed one another’s shirts!

It was a pretty crafty idea. In this way the students wanted to remind themselves of their friendship and care for each other. They strived to make their relationship more permanent.

I was deeply moved by this show of affection. That same day, a scripture from the prophet Isaiah came to mind: “I have carved you on the palms of my hands (Is 49:16).” Then I made the connection: just as the high school seniors reassured each other of their friendship, faced with the fear of separation, so the Lord tells us that we are precious to Him (cf. Mt 10:31).

Some people, when needing to remember a phone number and not having any paper to write on, write the number on the palm of their hands. That’s exactly what Isaiah is telling us. We are so precious to the Lord that our names are written on the palms of His hands.

This is exactly what St. Paul had in mind when he exclaimed, “Who shall separate us from the love of Christ?” (Rm 8:35). The permanent, unmovable love of God for us is the firm basis of our hope. Faith tells us that God is all powerful, that He can help us if He wants. Hope tells us that not only can God help us, but that He wants to help us, that He cares for us.

As stress and anxiety grow in our modern world, today more than ever we need to remind ourselves of God’s amazing, merciful love. We must believe that this love is always there for us, that our names are written on the palms of His hands.