Ugly Hands

By Merna Short of Melbourne, Victoria, Australia

But Jesus said, “Let her alone; why do you trouble her? She has performed a good service for me. For you always have the poor with you, and you can show kindness to them whenever you wish; but you will not always have me. She has done what she could; she has anointed my body beforehand for its burial. Truly I tell you, wherever the good news is proclaimed in the whole world, what she has done will be told in remembrance of her.”  Mark 14:6–9

At a women’s retreat we rediscovered the variety of our giftedness. In one exercise we asked ourselves what we liked about our own bodies. Gina thought her hands were ugly, but they were so useful.

She loved cooking, making jam, and knitting. She is also a podiatrist and raises money for the church through all these skills. Through this exercise she realized she had reached out to many people because of her useful hands, which made up for their “ugliness.”

Another woman, who always wanted square shoulders on which to drape her clothes, found she had beautiful “Victorian” shoulders. How good is that? When we shared what we saw as beautiful in one another, especially through the inner beauty reflected in our giftedness and our love, we realized how much God has invested in each of us.

Like the woman who bathed Jesus’ feet in expensive perfume, we each find our unique way of serving. How much sharing of good news will be remembered because of us? Unexpectedly, we had much to share about our gifts and opportunities to serve with our God-given bodies.

Truly, God’s creation is sacred—even ugly hands.

Prayer for Peace:

Creator God, our hands are your hands. Our feet are your feet. We’ll do what you want us to do, dear Lord, we’ll go where you want us to go.

Spiritual Practice for the Week: Offering Blessings of Community

Each day this week receive and share blessings of community. Begin with a prayer of gratitude for the network of relationships in your life. See and feel connections with family members, spiritual friends, people in your congregation and community, people and creatures in God’s sacred web of life.

What blessings flow to you from these circles? Reflect, pray, and write in your journal about the call to be “Community of Christ.” Go deeper each day as you “discern and embrace” the “divine blessing” of this name that opens you to “become a blessing to the whole creation” (Doctrine and Covenants 163:1). What act of blessing are you invited to complete?

Peace Covenant:

Today, God, I’ll be what you want me to be.

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