HomedotMagisReflections"Your Right Hand Holds Me Fast"

"Your Right Hand Holds Me Fast"

Psalm 139, which is beloved by so many, is a favorite of mine.

LORD, you search me and you know me: you know when I sit and stand; you understand my thoughts from afar.When I read through the psalm, I feel the invitation from God and God’s intense and personal love for us. It seems like God is longing to have us know how cherished we are in each moment of our lives – and even before.

Recently, I had an experience that gave Psalm 139 a new power. I went with my daughter and son-in-law and to see an ultrasound of the baby they expect in early January.

I watched as my daughter’s growing belly was covered in gel and the assistant, Mary, rolled a small wand across it. Some fuzzy pictures began to appear. Looking like a weather radar, it was unclear at first.

“Here is the spine,” Mary told us, pointing to the string of tiny white bones.

With all my ways you are familiar. Even before a word is on my tongue, LORD, you know it all.As she moved the wand, suddenly the room filled with the strong sound of my grandchild’s heartbeat. The much over-used word “awesome” came to my mind, the literal one, as in: filled with awe. With that clear and distinct rhythmic thump, we were struck again by the realization that the baby is a living being,

Behind and before you encircle me and rest your hand upon me.I was certain of the hand of God resting on this child as the baby turned toward the wand and Mary said, “Let’s put this in 3D.” Suddenly from out of the ghostly images was a human face. “This one has chubby cheeks,” she chuckled.

There was the image of a real face on the screen with those darling cheeks. I turned to my son-in-law and noted that the baby would certainly inherit his dimples. I realized that with that last image, I had left the chair where I intended to sit quietly and was standing at my daughter’s side, hand on her arm, astonished at what we were all seeing.

Even there your hand guides me, your right hand holds me fast.She switched views and we returned to the less distinct images with Mary narrating what we were seeing. Then we could clearly see the baby’s fingers moving. As we watched, this already-loved child reached down, grabbed its toes and pulled its leg up to its head. There, in the darkness of my beloved daughter’s womb, with her husband watching along, their child was stretching, dancing, doing yoga or perhaps just feeling a joyful dance of life.

Darkness is not dark for you, and night shines as the day. Darkness and light are but one.

Image by Jeff Oliver under a Creative Commons license.
Maureen McCann Waldron
Maureen McCann Waldron
Maureen McCann Waldron graduated from Creighton University with a degree in journalism and then spent 22 years in corporate public relations. After receiving her master’s degree in Christian spirituality from Creighton, she joined Andy Alexander, SJ, in Creighton’s Collaborative Ministry Office.


  1. Dear Maureen, thank you for sharing the beautiful experience. It made me think of Isaiah, “I have engraved you in the palm of My hand.” How much He loves us and in your new grandchild’s case by the blessing of a loving grandmother.

  2. Psalm 139 is also my favorite psalm. I stumbled on to this site this morning. It will now become a part of my morning reflection. Thank you for. Starting my day in such a blessed way!

  3. Thank you for such a beautiful sharing of your encounter with God. Those moments looking into the darkness of the womb really is a wonderful experience, and now how much more special with God speaking to you through the psalm. May health and love be with your family, and may this experience you’ve shared so eloquently with us continue to work deep in you.

  4. I read this last October and made a comment then but today I was drawn into that ultrasound room with you once again and felt the love that you felt for that wee baby. Today I am struck by the fact that the love that you feel for your little grandchild and that I feel for those whom I love is infinitesimally small in comparison to God’s love for each of us. We are so blessed. Thank you.

  5. Thank you Maureen. Your post made me create a poet once again lol, here I go…
    Oh, like a a flower in the garden parched by the heat of the sun,
    In the desert lying baked on a parched land, about to die,
    Then He comes along…
    Cared by the hand of a grower, showered by the rain,
    The flower blooms again as it touched her petals.
    Like all these things, I am a baby on his palm.
    Like a hand of a Father to a baby softly caressing her palm,
    Like the petals on a flower, in bloom in the grower’s palm,
    Now I know why we are here for in the garden of our creator.
    Have a good day.

  6. Maureen,you are so creative thanks to God for reaveling this to us through you a real blessing to my spiritual life this has taken me far to repent for the many times that i have not realized the care and love that God has for us pray for me that this may help me in realizing every day that great love that am suporse to have to all God creation.
    peace be with you maureen

  7. Maureen,
    This is one of the loveliest posts ever . Thank you for reminding us of God’s great creative power. How wonderfully we are formed. In this instance , “awesome” is way too small a word!

  8. Oh! Thank you Maureen! I leaned forward while I was reading your story. And I must admit that I hurried through the psalm to reach the baby.

  9. Hi again Maureen (I read your essays on Creighton). That’s some pretty awesome writing. Perfect actually, so clear I felt as if I watched too.
    Thank you for a dual treat.

  10. Maureen, this is an incredibly beautiful reflection. You have reminded me that each person is in the hands of God whether that person is aware of it or not. Thank you for sharing your “awesome” experience with us.

  11. “Darkness is not dark for you….darkness and light are but one.” What a wonderful Psalm. Thanks for the reminder that through God’s love, our perceived darkness, is overwhelmed by His Light.


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