My husband and I often say our hands look old. Now that's not to say our faces don't, but we only see our faces in the mirror or in pictures. But we see our hands constantly. As we sat in the swing on our screened porch a few days ago, that subject came up again as we compared and argued about whose look the oldest! And it suddenly dawned on me how important these hands are and how old they look doesn't really matter.
They are decorated with "age" spots, and they aren't quite as strong as they once were, but they serve me well. I do admire ladies who have beautiful hands that they protect from the sun, always have their nails painted and wouldn't think of having calluses. But that is not me!
We become aware of our hands when we're about four months old. As babies wave their arms around with tightly clenched fists, they aren't aware of their hands until the day their eyes make contact, and they stare. And we laugh because it's so cute to watch. As time passes babies learn they can control that fist and it goes right into their mouth.
Today is December 11, 2021. I found this post that I started on December 31, 2019. The two paragraphs above are rough, not edited and this post was never finished or published. But these hands have a different meaning today, December 31, 2021, the published date is exactly two years since I started writing this. And the photo of our hands above is exactly one year ago today, as I held his hand for the last time.
We use our hands when we speak, flailing them around when we don't know what to say, or using them in anger when we say too much. Artists use their hands to share the gift that God gave them to create the likeness of something or someone we love. Musicians can bring me to tears as they gently pull the bow across the violin strings or strum a guitar or play Jesu Joy of Man's Desiring on piano. Woodworkers use their hands to build fine furniture and beautiful houses. There are so many more things we do that require the use of our hands.
God designed our hands for those things, but the best use of our hands is for touching. A mother touching the fevered brow of her sick child, tucking her curls behind her ear while praying words of healing to the Father. A hand on the shoulder of a friend who is grieving. Holding the hand of a small child to keep him safe. A touch that says I'm right here, you're safe and you're not alone.
We held hands...a lot. Walking across a parking lot he would reach out and take my hand. Riding in the car he would reach over and take my hand. Standing in a crowd of people he would place his hand on the small of my back. His touch told me, "I've got you, you're safe with me and you're not alone." He would tell me, "I love your touch." So, when he passed from this life to the next, I was holding his hand.
Just one of the many, many things I miss. Hold someone's hand today.