Wednesday, April 04, 2012

Maundy Thursday: wash my hands

by Lucy Nanson, New Zealand:

Wash my hands on Maundy Thursday
not my feet
My hands peel potatoes, wipe messes from the floor
change dirty nappies, clean the grease from pots and pans
have pointed in anger and pushed away in tears
in years past they’ve smacked a child and raised a fist
fumbled with nervousness, shaken with fear
I’ve wrung them when waiting for news to come
crushed a letter I’d rather forget
covered my mouth when I’ve been caught out
touched forbidden things, childhood memories do not grow dim
These hands have dug gardens, planted seeds
picked fruit and berries, weeded out and pruned trees
found bleeding from the rose’s thorns
dirt and blood mix together
when washed before a cup of tea
Love expressed by them
asks for your respect
in the hand-shake of warm greeting,
the gentle rubbing of a child’s bump
the caressing of a lover, the softness of a baby’s cheek
sounds of music played by them in tunes upon a flute
they’ve held a frightened teenager,
touched a father in his death
where cold skin tells the end of life has come
but not the end of love,
comforted a mother losing agility and health.
With my hands outstretched before you
I stand humbled and in awe
your gentle washing in water, the softness of the towel
symbolizing a cleansing
the servant-hood of Christ.
Wash my hands on Maundy Thursday
and not my feet.


CMK said...

I love it. I'd like to use it for our Maundy Thursday service. We always wash hands instead of feet, but this brings it to life!
Cora - Canada

Ann said...

Yes - feel free to use it just credit Lucy Nanson

Linda McElroy Thomas said...

May I use it as well, for Maundy Thursday? Linda, Somerset PA

Ann said...

Yes - feel free to use this.