William H Hammes
The Back Hand of God
Have you ever felt you got the back hand God? I mean you really got wacked! And you may have felt as if it were God Himself doing it? Maybe it was.
It was a time when I was feeling really close to God, but I wanted to get even closer. In fact, I wanted to get as close as I possibly could. I walked out into the field behind my house and I had this sort of vision. There was Jesus standing next to the hill way beyond the field, only He was hundreds of feet tall! He was looking away as if working with something. I became so excited that I yelled to Him, “Lord bid me to come close to you!” Though He did not turn towards me, I saw His hand coming my way. I was so excited! The Lord was coming to take me into His hand.
My excitement turned to fear. His giant hand did not settle down gently behind me, but came crashing down in front of me, knocking me to the ground! It was not the tender palm of his hand but the coarse back of His hand. It was so tall and massive that it blocked all view of Him. When I stood to my feet, my fear turned to horror when the hand started to move toward me. It was not picking things up but bulldozing them down. As the giant hand got closer to me I didn’t know what to do so I ran. I eventually ran up the steps and into the back door of my house. Fearing I wouldn’t be safe, I ran out the front door just as the hand hit the back of the house splintering it and everything within it. I ran down the street, and behind me the hand was crushing everything in its path. House after house, block after block. I ran past my old school and it took that out too! When I ran past my church, I thought surely it wouldn’t, but it did! Gone, completely gone!
I continued to race through the town and into another field beyond. It was getting so close that I could feel the air being pushed toward me. I was tiring out quickly, that’s when I tripped in, of all things, a gopher hole and fell flat on my face! I look up and everything went black.
When I came to, everything was calm and the dust was settling. I stood to my feet and looked around. Everything was destroyed worse than if a tornado hit the town. At my feet, I found my bible. It was dusty but no pages were missing. However, my notes, my precious notes were scattered and blowing in the wind. For whatever reason, everything that was important to me was at my feet as if the wind blew it there. My childhood paintings, awards, and my book collections were scattered about me. I turned around to see the Lord still standing where He was before, hand by his side, still facing away. It was as if nothing that happened bothered Him at all!
I picked up my battered bible turned, back toward Him and I lost it! With all of the fear and confusion I used everything within me to scream one word, “Why!”
With that, I saw His hand coming back toward me, only this time it was coming fast! I turned to run but then stopped. Where was I going to go? How could I possibly out run God?
I simply stood still and bowed my head waiting for the inevitable. Soon the shadow of His hand was directly above me, as its shadow covered me. I just screamed at God, now all I could do was wait for my fate.
But instead of the hand squishing me like an annoying bug, it settled down softly behind me. I turned to look, and was surprised to see it wasn’t the rough back of His hand but the tender palm, neither was it blocking my view of Him. The hand started to move toward me, but instead of knocking things down, it was picking things up. Not many things, but odd things, my achievement awards, my paintings. A small pottery sculpture of mushrooms I made for my mother in high school. His hand was picking up things that were important to me, but I never would have thought they would be important to the Creator of the Universe! I noticed some of my bible study notes were being picked up, not many but a few. When His hand got close I jumped on and snuggled in. However, my curiosity got the better of me, and I climbed to the top of his hand to look over and see what was being left behind.
Suddenly it all made sense. What was being picked up were precious things like toys that a mother would pick up when cleaning his child’s room. Left behind were the broken and disruptive toys. I found out that some of the things that were so precious to me were also precious to God. But also, things I thought would be precious to God were not at all. That’s when I found so much churchy stuff, is just that, Churchy stuff.
Gone was ungodly distractions, my denominational biasness and prejudices. My favoritism toward those who believe just like me. My accomplishments that made me feel important and secure in the world’s eyes. Above all, gone was my pride and arrogance, especially my pride in what I thought I knew about God. It all looked like chocolate, something that tasted so good but eventually makes you feel so sick. I turned back and saw the smile of Jesus. I climbed back down and snuggled in to enjoy the rest of the ride.