Thank God When Washing Hands
By Serialong Lebasa – Wash your hands regularly, we are told. Wash them for at least 20 seconds.
And how are we going to count 20 seconds when busy washing our hands? Sing “Happy Birthday” twice, we are motivated.
Use soap and running water, we are taught. I tried it. I sang “Happy Birthday” at my own speed and I counted approximately 20 seconds. It worked. But it quickly became monotonous.
Many thoughts run through my head as I wash my hands. There are moments where I experience a feeling of guilt. Why am I overwhelmed with guilt? Why don’t I enjoy my running water and soap? Who am I to enjoy running water?
There are many people out there who do not have water, let alone running water.
Every time I turn on a tap in the house and choose hot or cold water, I don’t realise how precious water is and how lucky I am to have it. I treat it as “just” water without attaching any value to it.
Maybe I think I am entitled to it. Who cares, it’s just a bar of soap? Maybe to some of us it is just a bar of soap. It is just a bar of soap because we have always had many bars and possibly even different brands of soap.
To some of us it may be just a R7 bar of soap. But, to other people it is an expensive commodity which they struggle to get.
These people are not different from those of us who have lots of soap. They just find themselves in an unfortunate situation which they did not choose.
When we wash our hands for 20 seconds with running water and soap, we should not just do so to wash off possible Covid-19 infection our hands.
What to tell God
We can cherish this time as an opportunity to express our gratitude to God and pray:
Lord we are not worthy or deserving to have this running water and soap to wash our hands. There are many of your good children out there who are in dire need of water and soap.
It is because of your mercy that we have these two things and many other material possessions which we have taken for granted without realising how lucky we are to have them.
We thank you, our God and Creator.
When we rub and scrub our hands, may we offer every one of the 20 seconds in gratitude for all your gifts, and continue to pray for those who lack fundamental needs.
Oh God, our Creator, when we wash the physical dirt and potential virus off our hands, we also come to you with contrite hearts and pray that you protect us and the whole world from any ‘spiritual corona’ in our lives.
Lord, wash all our iniquities and cleanse us from the corona of sin. We thank you God for the gift of life. We thank you for giving us hands. There are people without hands, Lord.
Take our hands, make them your own so that we can do your will and help our brothers and sisters in need, especially during this time. God our Creator, let us know and understand your Divine Teaching and Will during this time of Covid-19.
Let us not be overcome by despair in thinking that this is a punishment from you. If you would punish us Lord, no one would survive.
Be with those who are in need of food, shelter and other necessities of life during this time and beyond.
Give strength to the sick. Open your heavenly doors to the dying. Walk with our doctors, nurses, medical researchers and all health workers during this trying time.
We can all use these 20 seconds of washing our hands to say a little prayer and thank God for many blessings.