How Do My Fingers Know?

There is something about this time of year that is inspiring. I find it odd that the entire summer passed me by and I didn’t feel the slightest itch to read a book or write an essay. Then suddenly, classes begin, and my fingers are craving a pen with which to write. Why does that happen? How do my hands know that it is time to be creative and thoughtful? My mind knows, but I just cannot figure out how my fingers know. Is it because my mind is telling my body to focus on my education? Is it because my heart is fighting against the restraints of Spanish II and History to be free to express thoughts about Austen, Shakespeare, and Ruskin? What causes it?

Jana posted about the same idea once, about music, wondering why her fingers remembered the notes. I understand this. Each time I sit down to a piano, my fingers instantly reach for the familiar positions that will allow me to begin “Fur Elise”. Without glancing at a note, I can hear the melody in my head, and my fingers glide over the keys as if they did so every day.

The same seems to be true of the feeling of a pen in my hand. Once I grasp a pen and set the paper before me, my eyes need hardly glance at the page before my hand begins to move across the paper with the words that are in my heart. My fingers ache for the pen.

How do they know? What makes them not only remember, but ache for something that is not really a physical act? Even though playing the piano and writing require physical exertion, they are creative activities. They use more of the mind and heart than of the body. I think it is an amazing example of the intricacy of the human body. Think about this:

I don’t drink orange juice. It does a terrible number on my stomach. It makes me sick every time I drink it. However, at times I crave it. I thought about it for a long time and I concluded that I always crave it when my body needs vitamin C. So, how does my body know that orange juice has vitamin C? My mind knows it, but my body, my flesh, isn’t the thinking part, it shouldn’t know what has vitamins in it. It shouldn’t know what foods are good for me. That’s my mind’s job. So, why do my taste buds crave orange juice?

I think I know the answer. I found it in Psalm 139.

For You formed my inward parts;
You covered me in my mother’s womb.
I will praise You, for I am fearfully and wonderfully made;
Marvelous are Your works,
And that my soul knows very well.
My frame was not hidden from You,
When I was made in secret,
And skillfully wrought in the lowest parts of the earth.
Your eyes saw my substance, being yet unformed.
And in Your book they all were written,
The days fashioned for me,
When as yet there were none of them.

Psalm 139:13-16

Our bodies know what our mind knows, just as our mind knows what our body knows. We are “fearfully and wonderfully made.” Our minds and bodies were made to work together. They were created to know each other, to understand each other. That is what it is to be “fearfully and wonderfully made.” I believe that it just serves as another reminder of how great our God truly is. If He took that much care in the creation of the human body, how much more care does He take with the circumstances of our daily lives? How much more intricate detail is woven into our lives? How much more love can we expect from our heavenly Father?

Curious? Well, I found the answer to those questions too! Check out Ephesians 3:20:

“Now to Him who is able to do exceedingly, abundantly, above all that we ask or think.” (NKJV)

That is what we can expect. “Exceedingly, abundantly, above all.”

The J.B. Phillips translation puts it this way:

Now to him who by his power within us is able to do far more than we ever dare to ask or imagine.”

Now, I think that is something worth smiling about!

One thought on “How Do My Fingers Know?

  1. Jana Swartwood says:

    Wow, deep stuff. Very beautiful. I almost don’t know how to respond except to say I think our hearts long for the things we are meant to do. It’s a hard thing to quantify, but I think the fact that it comes so instinctively is just further confirmation that it’s something we’re meant to be doing.

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