Blessing of the Hands
Modern health care providers use an amazing array of sophisticated equipment to heal. But at Texas Health Resources, there is one tool that every person, no matter what their role, uses to heal: their hands.
Whether rocking newborn babies, pointing the way to a loved one’s room, serving a meal or providing comfort on the way to surgery, the hands are at the center of care.
But much like the cobbler’s children whose shoes get repaired last, we often forget the important role our hands play as we care for the communities we are blessed to serve.
In 1997, chaplains at Texas Health Presbyterian Hospital Plano began performing the “Blessing of the Hands.” In this simple, intimate ritual, a chaplain anoints the caregiver’s hands with a touch of oil, and then thanks the caregiver for what he or she does “to touch the world every day using their unique life and gifts.” The chaplain closes by asking God to “bless the work of these hands.”
The observance is meant to honor caregivers’ healing hands, and remind them how they use their hands to relieve pain, prevent disease and show compassion to those we serve. We blessed hands across our organization, as part of Hospital Week and the people who create havens of healing and hope – no matter what role they play. It is indeed a powerful reminder of the work we do.
Kent Taylor, M.Div., BCC, director of Pastoral Care at Texas Health Plano says, “What I love about The Blessing of the Hands is it is a stopping, a pause in the midst of the very busy endeavor of health care. It enables us to really thank each person for what they do and for who they are.”
“We all need moments to connect with our deeper intentions and to be reminded of what we are here for,” Taylor said. “We all want the world to be a better place for our having passed through it. The Blessing of the Hands touches the heart at a personal level, reminding us that our hands are an extension of what lives in our hearts.”
Learn more about pastoral care services at Texas Health by visiting, TexasHealth.org/PastoralCare.