A Hand of Friendship

If your heart is for peace
and my heart is for peace
give me your hand.

Give me your hand,
so small a thing to ask
and yet – so big.

If I let my hand,
your hand,
then somehow
I have crossed the Rubicon;
I cannot be the same.

I cannot be the same
if, in the clasping
of your hand,
I dare to raise
my head
and look into your eyes,
and see a mirror image
of myself,
frightened of trusting,
fearful of the unknown,
scared to admit
your humanity,
to be open and vulnerable,
lest I am invaded,
taken over,
lest all ‘they’
have told me over centuries
proves to be
about you.

Give me your hand.
O give me your hand
before the moment passes,
before the darkness overtakes,
and I discover
when it is too late,
that you were my sister,
you were my brother,
that together
we were being called
towards a future
bright with hope
and promise,
by the God
whose hand
forever reaches out
to you and me
in friendship,
and because of whom
we can never be the same.

And so,
may the
peace of Christ
be with you,
and may He ever flow
between us
as I give you
my hand.

© Ruth Patterson