“And immediately Jesus stretched out His hand and caught him» (Matthew 14:31).
Yesterday we talked about finger memory and how important it is to practice playing certain fast passages until they come automatically, without the need to analyze them consciously.
But there are also slower, more dramatic passages that require the pianist to have great control of their fingers. Each note may need a slightly different pressure, and each finger must act independently.
There are many muscles in our hands, which makes this possible. Try opening and closing your hand different ways, and observe the different positions you can put each finger in.
There are surgeons who specialize exclusively in the reconstruction of hands. With several surgeries, an injured hand can be repaired, but there are no techniques to improve the function of a normal, healthy hand (Paul Brand).
God created us perfect, and the intricacy of the work hands can do is just one of many reflections of that perfection.
Jesus used His hands so much! We can imagine that His hands received some hits and bangs during His carpentry work They were probably rough and scarred. He spent many years of His life working with wood, and then He died on a wooden cross. He knew better than anyone about nails, hammers, and the weight of the beams used for a cross. And yet His hands were busy building, healing, and touching the untouchables.
Perhaps today you are living in one of those slow, stately passages where the control of each finger must be careful and thought out.
We are living in one of the most dramatic, tense, and important passages of the history of the world, and each act, whether reflexive or meditated will add or subtract to its destiny and to our own. What are your hands doing? Which “passages” are the most difficult for you?
«The poet and the naturalist have many things to say about nature, but it is the Christian who enjoys the beauty of the earth with the highest appreciation, because he recognizes his Father’s handiwork and perceives His love in flower and shrub and tree» (Steps to Christ, ch. 10, p. 87).
Just as we recognize God’s loving touch in Creation, we can also see that in our difficulties Jesus reaches out His hand to us, like He did for Peter on the Sea of Galilee long ago. Will you take hold of His hand today?