A message came through today about our common humanity. Throughout history, our distant Neanderthal cousins from as far back as 60,000 years ago and even so-called modern humans from as close as 6,000 years ago have painted their hands on walls as if to reach out to us. What is their message?
I AM HERE!
The hand is such a powerful image. It speaks to the very form of our humanity. We recognize it immediately. We lend a hand. We give a hand up. We use sign language to communicate. We build with our hands. We create art and music with hands. We touch with our hands. We create community with hands when we say things like "many hands make light work."
In the language of Genesis, we also recognize that we are "created in the image and likeness of God." Could there be another message here?
I AM GOD. I AM HERE. I AM A PART OF YOU AND YOU ARE A PART OF THE GREAT I AM.
The one hundred and thirty-ninth psalm of David says it so eloquently.
Search Me, O God, and Know My Heart
A Psalm of David.
O Lord, you have searched me and known me!
You know when I sit down and when I rise up;
you discern my thoughts from afar.
You search out my path and my lying down
and are acquainted with all my ways.
Even before a word is on my tongue,
behold, O Lord, you know it altogether.
You hem me in, behind and before,
and lay your hand upon me.
Such knowledge is too wonderful for me;
it is high; I cannot attain it.
Where shall I go from your Spirit?
Or where shall I flee from your presence?
If I ascend to heaven, you are there!
If I make my bed in hell, you are there!
If I take the wings of the morning
and dwell in the uttermost parts of the sea,
Even there your hand shall lead me,
and your right hand shall hold me.
If I say, “Surely the darkness shall cover me,
and the light about me be night,”
Even the darkness is not dark to you;
the night is bright as the day,
for darkness is as light with you.