Thursday, December 22, 2011

Hands

“And Jesus put forth his hand, and touched him…” Matthew 8:3 (KJV)

One of my favorite feelings in the world is to feel Kevin’s hand on my back or around my waist as we are walking.  His hands are strong and gentle and soothing.  He uses his hands continually on his job to provide for our living, his hands brush tears from my eyes, and they steady me when I start to fall.  I have always been a fast walker, and many times, through the years, if I have walked ahead of Kevin, he will say, “My hand’s lonesome!”  Each and every time, I have slowed down for him to catch up, so we could do something that will always be one of my favorite things in life….hold each others’ hand. 

Today, we watched our annual Christmas parade in our small town, and the sun was shining in my eyes.  Kevin, always thoughtful, considerate, and sensitive to my needs, stood between me and the sun to block it, and his hand touched my face with concern as he remarked that I was getting too much sun.  His hands provide a deep sense of comfort to me, and it makes me feel safe and loved and cared for when I feel his touch.  After being married for 23 ½ years, I think I could identify his touch from all others….his would have the most love, kindness, and gentleness, and I would recognize it with my heart.  I feel very blessed to have a husband that protects and lovingly guides with his hands.  My heart breaks for every woman who has come to fear impending blows from the hands of the man who should be her defender. 

As I was growing up, I was also very blessed to have a Daddy whose hands I never had to fear.  Not that I didn’t get my fair share of discipline when I absolutely needed it, but it was only after he had exhausted every other option to get me to straighten up!  He was kind and protective and his hands worked very hard to keep a roof over our heads and food on our table. 

Dad always had a habit of biting his fingernails, and he was always ashamed of the way his hands looked because of it.  He always told Mom that if he died before she did to make sure his hands weren’t showing in his coffin.  Neither Mom nor I told the funeral director about this, but amazingly, when we went in to view Dad’s body, his fingers were neatly bent on both hands hiding his fingernails!  Mom and I never could figure out how this happened, and it has puzzled us ever since.  I guess, it will always be one of those unsolved mysteries in my life.

I remember standing there looking at his hands and thinking of all of the many hours of work he had done with them through the years to make sure Mom and I had what we needed in life.  Do you remember the song “Daddy’s Hands”?  It was written by Holly Dunn, and it truly expresses my feelings about my Daddy’s hands.  (If you go to my blogspot at www.cherylsmithministries.blogspot.com, there is a link to the youtube video to listen to it.) 
Here are the lyrics:
Verse One
I remember Daddy’s Hands, folded silently in prayer,
And reaching out to hold me, when I had a nightmare;
You could read quite a story in the calluses and lines,
Years of work and worry, had left their mark behind.
Verse Two
I remember Daddy’s hands, working ‘til they bled,
Sacrificed, unselfishly, just to keep us all fed;
If I could do things over, I’d live my life again,
And never take for granted, the love in Daddy’s hands.
Chorus
Daddy’s hands were soft and kind when I was crying,
Daddy’s hands were hard as steel when I done wrong;
Daddy’s hands weren’t always gentle, but I’ve come to understand,
There was always love in Daddy’s hands
Verse Three
I remember Daddy’s hands, how they held my Mama taught,
And patted my back, for something done right;
There are things that I’ve forgotten that I loved about the man,
But, I’ll always remember, the love in Daddy’s hands.

I remember standing at the graveside of my Papaw, William McCoy.  My twelve year old heart was breaking, as the songs were sung and I knew the moment was nearing that Papaw’s lifeless body would soon be laid to rest for the final time.  As I cried, someone began to scold me for crying.  “Don’t do that, Cheryl.  Your Papaw wouldn’t want you to cry!” were the words of cold rebuke.  How could I keep from crying?  I didn’t want to see him go, and it hurt deep down inside.

As I stood there trying to stifle my tears and pull myself together, I felt a gentle hand on my shoulder.  The comfort and kindness was unmistakable, and I turned my head to see who the hand belonged to.  The eyes looking down at me were filled with compassion and concern.  I had never seen her before, but it turned out, she was there to support my Uncle Orville and would soon become someone very special in my life.  She would soon become my beloved Aunt Joyce. 

That was almost 33 years ago.  Aunt Joyce has remained a cherished, endeared person in my life and to my heart.  From that first gentle touch of kindness, her hands have continued to bless and comfort me through all my years of knowing her.  My family has been warmed by the many crocheted afghans she has used her hands to make for us.  I see things all around me in our home that have been created by her hands, and I know each project was made and stitched and crafted with love.  It isn’t as easy now for her to use her hands to do the things she has loved to do for so long since she suffers from arthritis and other health problems.  But even though her hands aren’t as usable as they once were, the love in her heart and her desire to bless are still there. 

Almost 2000 years ago, the most unselfish sacrifice of all time was made…it involved two hands.  Hands that belonged to a baby boy who was born into primitive surroundings and placed in a rough-hewn wooden manger during His first few moments of life.  Hands that grew up to use a hammer and nails and build things alongside his earthly father, Joseph.  Hands that reached out to touch the eyes of the blind, the ears of the deaf, and the hearts of the broken.  Hands that comforted and blessed and served and healed every hurting person they came in contact with.  Hands that were guiltless of any wrongdoing, yet stretched out before public view after willingly taking the blame for every wrong.  Hands that voluntarily allowed a Roman soldier's hands to drive a nail through them and fasten them to an old, rugged cross!

Here is a beautiful song by Carroll Roberson called "One Pair of Hands".  It is well worth your time to listen.  http://www.carrollroberson.com/main/index.php?option=com_content&view=article&id=66

These were the hands of my Savior, my Lord, my Master!  Precious, nail-scarred hands that continue to nurture and tenderly care for the needs of every man, woman, boy, and girl.  Have you felt the touch of those dear hands?  Have you experienced the loving-kindness with which they are driven?  Do you know Him?  I encourage you to get acquainted with Him.  Allow His hands to draw you close and heal your hurting heart.  Place your frightened hand in His, and allow Him to lead you through the hard times.  Won’t you reach out for Him?  What holds you back?  They’re outstretched and waiting…for you, my friend.  Just for you.

No comments:

Post a Comment