Hold My Hand

I knew there were six steps down into the cellar. But most of the time, I fell or slipped down them, pushed suddenly from behind by my older sister. And then she would slam the door shut and lock it and scream with shrill delight.

There was no light in the cellar, so I curled up into a ball and pressed my hands over my eyes. I don’t know why I did that because it was so dark, you wouldn’t know if your eyes were closed or open. But I knew there was something in the corner, even if it was too dark to see.

There was no point in screaming. No one was listening, even if I could be heard. So I would say the Lord’s Prayer. I didn’t get all the words right but it was the only prayer I knew as a little five year-old boy. Praying and rocking back and forth in that silent breathless prison.

I found my fear of the dark down in that cellar. But far worse, I formed the imaginary horrors of things I could not even see. Things that would come from under the bed, from just behind me, from nothing at all. Things that didn’t even have a shape.

And then one day I was a grown-up, scared of the dark, scared of those things I cannot see. And in my fear, I reached out my hand but there was no one there to take it, to hold it and to tell me that everything would be alright. So I went on with my life and kept my fears deep down inside of me. Secret, in case anyone would use them to hurt me.

Inside every one of us is a little boy or a little girl who is reaching out their hand. And I want you all to know something. If you hold my hand, I will hold yours. And if enough of us hold hands together, then nothing in our imagined world will harm us. No darkness will take away our light. No more will our cries go unheard. No fears will hold us back ever again.

I have been incredibly uplifted by the support I have experienced from people I have met, right here. People like you, reading this now.

And we all have our stories to tell of the fears we are living with, wherever those fears may have come from. Maybe you are one of the lucky ones who has no fears. But you can still hold hands. Hold hands with the children that are living inside all of us.

I’m older now and my hand is out. Take it. I will hold your hand in return. And if you know someone who is afraid, tell them to come here and join us and we will all reach out together. Bring them here to hold hands and share their fears.

By sharing our fears together we will destroy them. And never again will any of us be alone.


Sept 17th – A quick update: I am overwhelmed by the response to this post. Many of you have written to me with stories of your fears and your need of a hand to hold. If we are to be stronger together, the message needs to get out, so please go to http://facebook.com/onejohnmitchell and share the post with your friends on Facebook. “Hold My Hand” is one way to change the world together. Thank you! John

And I’m here for you on email:  holdmyhand@onejohnmitchell.com


  1. A moving piece and a beautiful offer. I am totally humbled by your generosity!

  2. My hand is also reaching out … many of us together might conquer the darkness

  3. John…We are NEVER alone because God is always with us…I’m sure that is why you said “the Lord’s Prayer.” So many people aren’t even aware that God is there for us – we just have to reach out to him.


  1. […] Mitchell’s blog https://onejohnmitchell.com/author/onejohnmitchell/ for his post Hold My Hand https://onejohnmitchell.com/2012/09/15/hold-my-hand/.  Again, John’s post came at a deeply low time and brought tears to my eyes as I read his […]

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