I am not very often conscious of my hands. Most days they are awesome gifts of skill and dexterity that I simply take for granted.
.But today I noticed my hands. It was intriguing to me that they looked like old hands. I almost wondered if they were really mine. They are markedly wrinkled and there are several brown spots that remind me of how my grandmother’s hands looked.
Now that I am paying attention to my hands, I am aware that the skin is thin and tears easily if I scrape against something. I’m also reminded that they have lost strength. Or is it that everything is packaged more securely and lids are tighter than they once were? In any case, I need to find a tool of some sort to simply open almost anything.
Yet, I am so grateful, not only for these hands, but also for the stories these hands could tell.
Let’s imagine these hands can talk and listen as they remember:
“We didn’t expect the tongue of a small calf to be so rough. When we were teaching this calf to drink from a pail we would help by placing some of the milk mixed with vitamin powder right into her mouth. It was fun to watch the little guy learn to do it by herself”.
“We didn’t expect it would be so hard to squeeze the part of the mother cow that the milk comes from. It looked easy but you have to press hard and pull hard just to get a few squirts”
“It’s really hard to get cucumber stain off. After picking we were covered with a coating of ugly stain. I know we could have protected ourselves with gloves but that slows down the picking and makes a hot day even hotter”.
“Before our family got a bathroom inside we learned lessons from what was called the “out house”. There was no toilet paper, only a catalogue from Sears or Montgomery Ward. It didn’t take long to learn that it is best to skip the shinny stiff colored pages and just use the thinner plain pages that were easier to crumble. “
“Some of the catalogues were spared a trip to the outhouse. We cut these up to make what we called, “Catalogue Paper Dolls”. We had a small scissor and we cut out whole families and furnished their house. We even cut toys for the children”.
“You have to really hold on tight to a cane pole when a pan fish the size of a dinner plate grabs the worm not knowing there is a hook in it. Then when you finally pull it in, it’s hard to describe how strong and slippery that fish is. Sometimes we wished there were four of us instead of just two”.
“We remember letting the girl we are attached to arrange our fingers so she could say, “Here is the church, here is the steeple, open up the doors and see all the people.”
“Some memories are life changing, too. Like on her confirmation day when this girl knelt at the alter and held us open. The pastor, in a clerical collar and gown, placed a thin wafer into us and said, “This is the body of Christ”.
I’ll stop here with imaging my hands are talking. The stories could go on and on.
I’ll simply end for today by expressing thanksgiving that my hands are still being held by the nail scarred Hand of the One Who loves me.