Thursday, June 2, 2011


Grandma, some ninety-plus years, sat feebly on the patio bench. She didn't move--just sat with her head down, staring at her hands. 
When I sat down beside her, she didn't acknowledge my presence, and the longer I sat, I wondered if she were all right. 

Finally, not really wanting to disturb her but wanting to check on her at the same time, I asked her if she were okay. She raised her head, looked at me, and smiled. "Yes, I'm fine, thank you for asking," she said in a clear, strong voice.
"I didn't mean to disturb you, Grandma, but you were just sitting here staring at your hands, so I wanted to make sure everything is okay," I explained to her. 

"Have you ever looked at your hands?" she asked. "I mean, REALLY looked at your hands?" 

I slowly opened my hands and stared down at them. I turned them over, palms up and then palms down. No, I guess I had never really looked at my hands as I tried to discern the point she was making. 

Grandma smiled and related this story:
"Stop and think for a moment about the hands you have, how they have served you well throughout your years. These hands, though wrinkled shriveled and weak, have been the tools I have used all my life to reach out and grab and embrace life.

"They braced and caught my fall when as a toddler I crashed to the floor.

"They put food in my mouth and clothes on my back. As a child, my mother taught me to fold them in prayer. They tied my shoes and pulled on my boots. They held my husband and wiped my tears when he went off to war.

"They have been dirty, scraped and raw, swollen and bent.  They were uneasy and clumsy when I tried to hold my newborn son. 

"Decorated with my wedding band, they showed the world that I was married and loved someone special. They wrote my letters to him and trembled and shook when I buried him. 
"They have held my children and grandchildren, consoled neighbors, and clinched in anger when I didn't understand. 
"They have covered my face, combed my hair, and washed and cleansed the rest of my body. They have been sticky and wet, bent and broken, dried and raw. And to this day when not much of anything else of me works real well, these hands hold me up, lay me down, and again continue to fold in prayer. 
"These hands are the mark of where I've been and the ruggedness of life. 
"But more importantly, it will be these hands that God will reach out and take when He leads me home. And with my hands He will lift me to His side, and there I will use these hands to touch the face of God." 
I will never look at my hands in the same way again. I always remember when God reached out and took Grandma's hands and led her home. When my hands are hurt or sore, or when I stroke the faces of my children and husband, I think of her. I know she has been stroked and caressed and held by the hands of God. 
I, too, look forward to having the hands of God holding mine.

~Author Unknown~

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