Immixtio Manuum: the mixing of hands. A posture signifying an oath of allegiance to an authority. An authority entrusted with one’s very life, protection and provision. Symbolically you were placing your life into the hands of another as you stretched your folded hands on bended knee as your lord received your life by surrounding your hands with his. It was a deeply intimate exchange of life and trust. One that not only entrusted life but promised to give it freely. It was truly an offering of total allegiance.
The shunamite women’s story that we talked bout this past Sunday in 2 Kings 4, was deeply familiar with this posture. Throughout her amazing life and story, she continually was on her knees offering allegiance to her Lord. Except not in the way we expect. While continually beckoned by the world of kings to place her trust in it’s provision, through impeding economic despair, hopeless loss of her son, confusing stares from her family, imminent judgement from her Jewish culture, over and over she refused to give and live her life to the world they offered but instead chose, by faith, to see a different world altogether. A world of a different kingdom, ruled by THE King. One who promises if you lose your life you will gain it, if you give all you will receive all. So as she gave everything and lost everything she took up the posture of immixio manuum, folded her hands and placed them in the hands of her Lord. As Elisha laid face to face, mouth to mouth and hand to hand over her dead son, what was dead came to life. In the same way,
Jesus spread himself out over the world, you and me, humanity. face to face, mouth to mouth, hand to hand, breathing life into us. His kingdom proclaims a new reality.
“In my kingdom, dead things don’t stay dead, they come to life!” ~Jesus
What would happen if you changed your posture today? What would happen if instead of bowing to the world of kings and presidents, instead of living, waiting for their hand out of provision and protection that always flees and fails, we would bend the knee, stretch out our hands and place them in His? I wonder what dead things in our lives, your life, would come to life?
Immixtio Manuum: the mixing of hands