I dip my bread in the wine and hold it over my hand while we pray. A drop descends into my palm and spreads through the valleys and mountains of the lines of my hands. Another falls and another.

I am afraid; ashamed.

My iniquity surrounds me, stains me.

Your blood on my hands, it spreads and it spreads.

I rub my palms and fingers together until they are sore and wipe them across my clothes, but it smears further and further until not a spot is left untouched.

Out, I say! Here’s the smell of blood still.

You gaze down at me and extend Your hands. They are pierced but clean and white – brighter than the glare of the sun upon snow.

You reach for me and I close my eyes in shame.

All the perfumes of Arabia will not sweeten this little hand. Oh, oh, oh!

You want my hands – and I am weeping for they are wet with blood and they drip into rivers and I cannot put my squalid hands in Your pure ones.

But You will not look away and my shoulders shake and my hands tremble but I give them to You.

You enclose them in Your own (how gentle Your touch, how warm yet searing) and I open my eyes and my hands have become as Yours.

Your blood on my hands and yet You call me holy.

Drink of it, all of you, for this is my blood of the covenant, which is poured out for many for the forgiveness of sins.

And I put the bread to my lips and You let me take of it.

Take, eat; this is my body.

My eyes still are wet but You hold my hands and You hold my eyes with Your clear ones and You call me Yours.

And Jesus You are mine.

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