Come on, Now…Raise them Hands!

By Patrick Hawthorne

raised hands

“Alright!  It is time for me to fess up.  “I, Patrick Hawthorne, am a hand raiser.”  Yep.  There you have it.  I raise my hands in church and I’m proud of it.  I don’t wish to offend anyone, but sometimes I raise one hand…sometimes two.  Sometimes I reach for the heavens as if being held up by a bank robber.  Other times, I have a slight dip in the elbows as if giving the signal that an angel just kicked one through the goal posts of life.”

“I wasn’t always a hand raiser – [sigh].  I mean, I didn’t set out to be a hand raiser; it just happened one day.  I was in church…well, let’s start at the beginning.  Years ago, my wife and I visited a church that my parents attended.  As we walked in, the people were nice enough and inviting.  However, I was at unease because I don’t like crowds and this church, although not huge, was big enough that I felt a tad bit uncomfortable.”

“I’m wandering off course…let me get back on target.”

“Anyways, service started and the praise and worship was phenomenal.  I felt a peace surround me that I had never felt before.  I wanted more.  When my wife and I left that service we made the decision that we would go back.  True to our word, we came back the next week.  Again, the praise and worship was outstanding as well as the teaching.  I was not being preached at, I was being taught.  This was wonderful.  Week number three and we were back.”

“The music director, Mrs. Becky, led off in praise that eventually turned to worship.  That was a pivotal point for me…That’s when I felt the nudging.

“Go ahead,” this little voice whispered.  “Go on, raise your hands…I promise you will like it.”

“I was aghast.   “But, people will stare!” I inwardly shouted back to the voice.”

“No they won’t…go ahead, try it.”

“The temptation was so strong. Sweat began to bead on my forehead.  I resisted…O’ how I resisted.   “Ok…just a little bit.  If I don’t like it, I can always stop.”  Beginning with one finger raised towards the sky, I slowly began the uplift of my left arm.  Inch by inch…shoulder high…up to my ear…above my head…Touchdown!  It felt great. It was as if I had just released all fears, all doubts, and all the junk in my life unto the Lord.  Suddenly, the right hand shot up to the sky.  I was in a heavenly bliss…and then, my mind began to think.  “Oh God, everyone is looking at me aren’t they?”

Slowly opening my eyes, I was expecting the scene from “Back to the Future,” where Michael J. Fox is playing the guitar solo towards the end of the movie and he gets carried away.  When he realizes that the rest of the band is not playing, he opened his eyes to see the whole auditorium of teenagers staring blankly back at him.  To my amazement, no one was staring.  As a matter of fact, those around me had their hands raised as well.  All was good…All was right with the world.

Thus I will bless You while I live; I will lift up my hands in Your name (Psalm 63:4 NKJV)

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Posted in Christian, teaching, writing
21 comments on “Come on, Now…Raise them Hands!
  1. LOL! Delightful post, thanks I enjoyed this.

    Like

  2. Me too! Me too…Brother. \o/

    Liked by 2 people

  3. Jules says:

    *Raises hand* me too. It’s liberating!!! Overhead, shoulder high, out to the side, one hand, both hands, palms flat, palms forward – it’s a language all in itself.
    God is good!!!

    Liked by 1 person

  4. Wally Fry says:

    Ha, most excellent my friend. Of course, you know this is a struggle for me. The only place I have ever been as a saved person is a non hand raising, non clapping, be careful if you go to the altar to pray church. It is what it is I suppose. I personally tend towards great excitement, but I even get dampened by the folks around me. Again, it is what it is, Things also change, but sometimes the change is slow.

    My pastor and I have had some good conversations recently about the dampening of the Holy Spirit and we actually walk in agreement that we quench Him far too often. Honestly, it arises from legitimate fears of abuse of the spiritual gifts as well as fear of seeking personal glory and attention. We all know some raise hands not to reach for our wonderful God, but so say…”hey, here I am..woo woo…look at me!”

    I sing(being rather loose with the term), in the choir. I have a tendency to move around quite a bit. Not dancing of course, because that would be a clear violation of the Baptist by laws, but quite distinct swaying and weaving. I sing down in the men’s lead section with the soprano ladies, and there are three other fellows down there. This was problematic at first as I kept banging into my partners LOL. I believe they have finally surrendered as now we sort of have a group sway thing going. Except for one guy, and he just stands far enough away so as to not be injured. And we don’t do it all the time, just when we sing something really hot like “Shouting Time,” or something.

    Still not quite ready for the full hand thrust while out in the congregation of course, but perhaps some day. Haven’t even raised hands in the choir yet. In fact, even in the choir the action only makes it from shoulders to waists, as clearly moving ones hips would be heretical.

    🙂

    Liked by 2 people

  5. Lol…I was a heretic in the MB church I attended. I dared to bring in s CD of old gospel songs put to a rock beat and play it over the sound system.

    Liked by 2 people

  6. marijo1245 says:

    Amen!! Raised southern Baptist, I understand this completely. It wasn’t until I discovered worship rather than routinely singing hymns that my hands left my side. At first, the palms up release of empty hands surrendering all, then one hand in the air because I knew the answer. Finally 2 hands, a shout, and a jump up and down because oh my God! I’m saved…I’m saved…I’m saved!!!

    Awesome post, thanks for sharing that!

    Liked by 1 person

  7. mitchteemley says:

    You radical! Christians should be restrained and reserved like those guys in the Bible. Well, except for David, Daniel, Paul, Peter, a few others…oh, and that rabble rouser Jesus.

    Like

  8. teekay says:

    I became a hand lifter a few years back. When my heart is in awe of God during worship, I just find my hands, of their own accord, lifted high in total surrender to the Almighty. Hallelujah!

    Like

  9. I’m a hand raiser too. It’s simply a rejoicing in God’s goodness. Thanks for sharing.

    Like

  10. dawnlizjones says:

    LOVE IT!! I remember those days back in the 70’s for me. I was in the Methodist church with a great background, wound my way through Young Life as a teen, and walked into the charismatic movement during that time. Ups and downs, abuses yes, pride yes, but God is “greater than my stupid” and His Holy Spirit is just waiting patiently. Hoo-ray! Thanks for sharing this!!

    Liked by 1 person

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