Engraved on God’s Hands

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To listen to this reflection as a podcast, click here.
If something belongs to you, put your name on it. 
Our grandson Lucas received that encouragement last year from his parents.  Whenever he finished a drawing, they urged him to add his name.  “That way people will know it’s yours.”
Last summer, a few months before his fifth birthday, Lucas picked up a pebble and wrote his name on the driver’s side door of the family’s Honda SUV.  That way people would know this was the car that he, his parents, and siblings got to enjoy as their very own.
Upon catching sight of Lucas’ earnest efforts, our son Tyler and his wife Ashleigh were at first distraught.  As you can see in the picture above, these aren’t hieroglyphics that can be erased by one of those miracle scratch removers.  Within a few minutes, however, they had to laugh.  “It’s actually endearing,” says Ashleigh.  Six months later, L-U-C-A-S is still there, and there are no plans to make an appointment to visit the “car doctor.” 
If something belongs to you, put your name on it.
God couldn’t agree more.
Isaiah 49:16 records one of the Old Testament’s most poignant statements.  The Lord says to his people, “Behold, I have engraved you on the palms of my hands.”  Engraving is not trivial.  It is deep.  If God had real “hands,” this would hurt.  Why does he choose this part of the body?  All day long, we look at our own hands – when eating, washing, working, dressing and praying.  God is saying, “You are always on my mind.  It is impossible for me to forget you or ignore you.” 
He also says in Isaiah 43:1-2, “But now thus says the Lord, who created you, O Jacob, he who formed you, O Israel: ‘Fear not, for I have redeemed you.  I have called you by name, you are mine.”
If something belongs to you, put your name on it.
Like an artist who beams over a special creation, like a craftsman who admires an extraordinary project, like a parent who would unhesitatingly sacrifice everything for their child, God puts his name on us.  And he engraves our names on himself. 
We belong to God, and he belongs to us.  “You are mine.” 
We bear his name not only so others can know that we are his, but so we ourselves will never let that truth slip our minds.
If you happen to be in Tyler and Ashleigh’s neighborhood, it’s pretty easy to tell which house belongs to a certain five-year-old named Lucas.
Just look for the SUV bearing the letters that weren’t there when it came off the Honda assembly line. 
Likewise, when the world looks at us, may others see a reminder that God really does welcome children into his family – an act of love that changes their lives forever.