A Story of Open Hands

Each Tuesday I write a blog post to share with you a way to be in more intentional in your day to day.

Andrew and I have chosen to live our lives with open hands.  We receive what has been placed into our lives with gratitude and acceptance.  We let go of what has been removed with trust and intention.


This choice began in 2002 on a warm summer’s night in Caracas, Venezuela.

We had just spent two weeks in the jungles of Venezuela, working with ten extraordinary teenagers in the tiny village of Cosh.  We were welcomed by the Yanomamo tribe and a tremendous family who had given their lives to live in the jungle.  It had been a tremendous time.

We were on our way home.  Andrew left the group early that night, and stayed awake in his room for hours. 

I awoke to a note under my door in the morning.  There was a letter from Andrew.

After getting ready, I took the unopened letter and found a quiet fire escape where I sat and read its contents.

Andrew affirmed that he had truly enjoyed our time together.  He articulated his appreciation of our newly formed friendship and his hope that our friendship would continue.  He then clearly stated that he would be interested in the possibility of dating.  If this was not reciprocated he was respectful of that.  He wanted to let me know about his feelings without in anyway overwhelming me.

I loved the letter.  I had grown admiring of Andrew.  He had been such a man of character on our trip, a hard worker, respectful, thoughtful, fun, intelligent, wise . . . 

And yet, I was hesitant.  There were many reasons not to date him, not the least of which was that I was slow to date and content in my single life.

I closed my eyes to reflect and pray and try and clearly consider how I wanted to answer him.

The image that I saw in my mind’s eye was one of open hands.  I felt a calm reassurance to trust in the timing and the opportunity that was before me.  Andrew was in my life at this time and I could date him.  It did not mean that I had to marry him or that there would be a difficult break-up.  It just meant that today, I could date Andrew, and that that could be really good for me.

I answered the letter with an affirmation.  Let’s move forward and try dating.

On the other side of the letter was Andrew, who received my letter.  He was nervous and unsure, but he too had seen an image that had encouraged him to be open to dating  . . . on his own Andrew had seen an image of open hands. 

This is something we discussed only later and were amazed that we had stepped into our relationship with the very same encouragement and trust.

Having open hands has become a way of life for us. 

It has opened us up to new possibilities.  It has helped us face difficult times, it has helped us trust when something has been removed from our lives.

We seek to live each day with open hands, trusting that what we have and what we do not have today is just as it is supposed to be.  We take the opportunity and we let go of what did not work. 

It is a gift to do both together.


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