This hymn was commissioned for a national conference on disabilities hosted by Second Presbyterian Church in Little Rock, Arkansas. Presbyterians for Disability Concerns has posted it on their website. This hymn was included in the United Church of Canada’s hymnal supplement, More Voices (2007).
When Hands Reach Out
O WALY WALY
When hands reach out and fingers trace
The beauty of a loved one’s face,
We thank you, God, that love relies
On gifts of grace not seen with eyes.
When fingers spell and signs express
Our prayer and praise and thankfulness,
We thank you, God, that hands can sing;
You bless the silent songs we bring.
When broken bodies will not mend,
We thank you, God, for Christ our Friend.
In him, our healing can begin:
He welcomes all the wounded in.
And when the ways we learn and grow
Are not the ways that others know,
We thank you, God, that we have learned
Your love’s a gift, and never earned.
Your Spirit gives us differing ways
To serve you well and offer praise.
When all are joined as one, we’ll be
Your able, strong community.