Four Letters, No Hands



It’s my four-letter word from God and by far the hardest to swallow. Why should I wait when all I want to do is good?

Why wait if ‘now’ could honor God?

If I am up to the challenge?

If it would help others?

I shouldn’t have to wait because I don’t want to–and yet, here I am.

This week in class I read through the story when Jesus heals the blind man and he doesn’t quite get it right the first time. Have you read that one? It’s in Mark 9.

And he asks the man, “Do you see anything?”

And the man says, “I see people and they look like trees.”


Or is it?

Jesus wipes the man’s eyes again. The next thing He says is “Don’t go into the village.”

The man once was blind but now he saw.

But the question is: why didn’t Jesus heal him immediately? Why did he have to wait?

If even for just a few seconds and a touch from God, what was the purpose in delay?

This story is sandwiched between two others. The previous story revealed the disciples inability to completely understand all that Jesus taught them. The following story told of Peter calling him the Christ.

There is a period of blindness in our walk with him–where we don’t understand what God wants us to do. We question our purpose. We wonder what we are good at. We self-loathe by naming failure upon failure. We are blind to the work of God in us.

And then He moves His hand and we feel His touch.

And we can almost see.

The future is fuzzy–like tree-people. But it doesn’t matter because we were blind!  We don’t completely understand what God is doing, but we know we can be useful and we long–we CRAVE–to be used. We are so hungry to serve God and we don’t understand why we can’t get going. Everything we see is good because we are able. 


Because God doesn’t operate in the realm of time. His very divinity demands that he be unlimited by time and space. Eternal. Omnipresent.

So the canvas of time is blank for God. And when he says wait–it only limits us; He remains unlimited.

I understand this: His creative movement upon my life remains unlimited, untarnished, undaunted by the days, months, and years that pass.

His work is more magnificent than fuzzy trees. It’s panoramic sunrises and Himalayan heights.


It’s my four-letter word and God’s movement toward His masterpiece.

And when my feet itch at the starting block and the finish line is a blur of yellow against the horizon I must remind myself:

Whose soul has flown to the melody of a half-composed orchestra?

The ruins of greatness are still celebrated today. The Parthenon, the Machu Picchu,  the Sphinx, Stonehenge.

But who celebrates what is half-finished–what is nothing more than potential almost reached?

So, I’ll remove the hands that push away time. And I’ll wait. Because my four letter word is subject to God’s creative whisper.


2 thoughts on “Four Letters, No Hands

  1. Hi Marian,

    This makes me think of Paul as he dreamt of going to Spain while he was in Antioch. He was writing to the church in Rome, giving them his treatise on the transition from the law to grace and letting them know he was coming to visit with them before heading on to Spain. Historians tell us he never reached Spain, rather the preparation for his journey to Rome became the book of Romans we read today. Romans is a wonderful theological goldmine, part of the waiting period for Paul as he looked forward to planting another church in an area that had not heard the good news of Jesus Christ. Did Spain never hear of Jesus because Paul did not personally go there? No, God had the larger picture in mind as he used Paul for greater glory during this waiting time….

    It was wonderful to meet you and I will be a regular visitor to your blog,

  2. Carrie, That’s a beautiful look into the mind and heart of Paul! Thank you for this rich background! Insights like above make me so excited to dig in and learn, learn, learn. You are exactly right…Spain didn’t suffer because Paul’s feet didn’t touch soil. That’s a deep truth into trusting the will of God.

    It was wonderful to meet you also and I look forward to more of your insight here, growing me.

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