How is it that holding hands can communicate so much?
Whether we are holding the hand of a lover, our children, friends or a person in need, we are sending messages and feeling a connectedness that is often difficult to describe.
Recently I came across a woman standing on the traffic island in the middle of a busy intersection. She was holding a cardboard sign indicating she was homeless and looking for work or financial help. I could see her from afar as I edged towards the ever-changing traffic lights. I felt a deep compassion watching her standing steady and well-groomed, head held high but desperate. As I drew close, I wound down my window and called to her. I gave her a small amount of money but took her hand and held onto it for just a moment as I told her, “I hope life in the future goes well for you. I hope these days get better.” She smiled. She didn’t look away. Neither of us did.
Holding another person’s hands in their darkest of days reminds them they are seen and not alone. That they have value and potential. That hope continues to exist in a sea of desperation.
Holding hands can communicate so much. And I don’t really know why at all.