Hands can reveal so much about a person.
Their age, gender, ethnicity, relationship status, occupation, even potential or actual health problems.
Mine shout out that I’m a woman of mature years with joint distortion caused by arthritis (amongst other things).
I would love to have plump, smooth, pretty, ultra feminine hands… sigh. 😦
But, much as the circumstances of my life affect my body in general, they are also apparent on my hands.
When I was a child I caught my thumb in a mangle and the nail has been bent ever since.
When I worked as a nurse, I washed and washed these hands multiple times over the years, used antiseptic gel, alcohol wipes, and wore rubber gloves.
All of which contributed to the dryness and aging-before-their-time appearance.
It means I conceal rather than reveal. Hide them in my lap. Feel like they belong to someone else, someone older.
They are partly alien to me. I gaze at them with bewilderment some days. How did they get like this? I may be a grandma now but I dislike looking like one!
Yet they could also suggest a practical person who has used her hands, cared for others, been busy, worked hard, not been afraid to do dirty tasks or chip a nail.
These days, I can do very little in the practical daily living tasks, beyond basic self care. I need help to keep house and home together.
I am so grateful to be able to scrawl, write, type (albeit badly and slowly) and put these weary, worn, stiff and painful hands to some use again.
And as I reflect upon my changing hands and changed life, I remember hands scarred and rendered helpless, yet ones that transformed my life and eternal destiny, just as they can do for you.
Hands conceal, reveal, plunder and steal,
reach out and take, gesticulate,
touch tender, become shield and defender,
hug, hold close, achieve the most
They can make, break, defile, wound and stain,
cause harm, alarm, revulsion and pain
Hands pierced fierce to a cross of wood
are the ones that treat us as they should
Arms of Love nailed to a tree
securing mercy, forgiveness and victory
Hands that gentle, soothe and hold
us closer than any brazen and bold
These hands scarred forever by the cross
will never cause us hurt or loss
They reach out across time and eternity
offering help, hope, healing to you and me
comfort, consolation, joy from despair,
goodness and grace seeping everywhere
They are the loving hands of God
welcoming us to the path He trod
Come, take His hand
Come, walk His path
Come, be held safe
through your time on earth