Jean Vanier explains his work with mentally handicapped people with an illustration.
What if I had an injured bird in my cupped hands? What would happen if I closed my hands completely?
It would be crushed and die!
Well, what would happen if I opened my hands completely?
It would try to fly, but it would fall and die.
The best place is in my cupped hands, neither completely open nor completely closed. This is where growth and healing can actually happen.
In my time of prayer, the best place is in the cupped hands of my Abba Father. There is enough freedom to stretch and grow, but there is enough protection so not to be injured. This is where I can actually heal and grow.