In Healing Grief

olivewood carvings of boy and girl in the hand of God

olivewood carvings of boy and girl in the hand of Godby Sheron Antczak

One never knows how the Spirit moves amongst us until we see it clearly in a moment of grace. Here, that moment is reflected in a tiny piece of olive wood sculpture, binding together two women’s lives – not just in grief – but in healing that grief.

Not so long ago, a woman came to the Pal Craftaid table at a Presbyterian Women’s gathering in Texas, asking for a carving called “Child in the Hand of God,” an olive wood piece that depicts a small child cradled in the palm of the much bigger hand. The available sculpture was a boy, but, as she talked, she said that she had lost a little girl 18 months before.

After some wrestling, she decided that she would buy the boy figurine, rather than go home empty-handed.

Shortly afterward, another woman returned to the table who had seen the carving of the boy in the hand of God, but pondered whether to buy it or not. She was very disappointed to learn it had been sold.

In a workshop later that day, the second woman related how her infant son had died two weeks ago. At the end of the session, a woman who had been listening walked over to her and handed her a paper bag, saying, “Here, I want you to have this.” Thinking it was a sack lunch provided by the conference, the recipient thanked her – but the other woman waited for her to open it. And, it was the boy-child in the hand of God carving.

The two strangers are now friends and have helped each other through their losses.
The woman who purchased the figurine had put it in her hotel room. When she left for the workshop, “something” told her to take it with her, she said.

It is hard to believe that a tiny sculpture – carved thousands of miles away – can contain so much. In the right hands, of course, it can.