Saturday, January 3, 2009


"Whatever your hand finds to do, do it with all your might." Ecc. 9:10

Hands have always fascinated me! I love the dimples in baby hands. I love watching young children use their hands to master the use of crayons and pencils. I love watching my husband's hands when he plays the piano. I remember holding my Uncle Harry's big, rough hands and coming to the realization that his hands were both rough and gentle at the same time. I remember playing with and pulling at the "chicken skin" on my grandmother's hands and thinking that surely I would NEVER get wrinkly skin like that! I would sit for hours and watch the blacksmith's hands as he would shoe our horses.

One of my favorite Peanuts cartoons from years ago was a strip about Hands. At the risk of causing Charles Schultz to spin in his grave I will attempt to do the strip justice. Charlie is walking along rather proud of himself and he holds his hands up, looks at them and declares that "these hands will do great things, these hands can save the world... etc." Well, you get the point. He continues with his dialogue about his hands when Lucy comes along, takes one look at his hands and says; "They have jelly on them!" Suddenly dejected, Charlie Brown walks away hands in pockets with his head down.

In the span of my life time my hands have washed thousands of dishes, washed cloth baby diapers using an old fashioned scrub board in a bathtub. These hands have used an old fashioned wringer washer, and have tried to send the hands through the wringer! These hands have kneaded bread, pulled weeds, "mucked" horse stalls, groomed horses, painted walls, cared for patients in hospitals, scrubbed floors by hand on hands and knees, these hands welded Zenith television chassis, played games, cared for children, have taught kindergardeners to write, cleaned factories and empty apartments and the list could go on and on.

Most of the time I can say that whatever my hands have found to do, I have done with all of my might. If hands could talk what a story they would tell. I would still love to learn American Sign Language which is an amazing use of the hands. I am sure there is still plenty let for my hands to do... but today I realized that I have "chicken skin" on my hands, my hands are now as old as my grandmother's were when I would pull on the loose skin on her hands.

But that is okay, these hands can still do great things, even if they have "chicken skin", even if they have jelly on them!


Blessings, Carole said...

I love it. For years I have thought of taking a picture of Bill's and my hands together. Writing something similar to your piece and giving it to the kids for Christmas. If I give you a bit towards royalties, may I jump off of your idea. i am such a slacker! Should have done it years ago. Love yours and you! Carole

The Rendalls said...

My favorite thing about hands is how you can tell who belongs whom often just by looking at their hands...generation after generation! And soon my hands will look just like yours...if only I can say at some point in time that my hands have accomplished as much as you and with as much love!