Pondering Hands


Have you ever pondered hands? I have. When I think of hands, I think of the chubby little fists of babies which just beg to be kissed; the long, lean fingers of a pianist as they fly over the ivories, the multicolored hands of children on today’s playgrounds, and the soft, wrinkled hands that tell the story of a person who has lived a long life.

Sometimes I ponder my own hands. The fingers are shorter than most fingers (as am I). The backs of my hands are starting to show character lines (I refuse to call them wrinkles…and they are not deep…yet). I admit I do not take good enough care of my nails. Oh to get a manicure!

Several years ago my hands, as well as my arms and shoulders, suffered pain from carpal tunnel pain. I had surgery in both wrists at the same time. A few days later I fell several times as I stumbled around in an unfamiliar spot in the darkness of night and then my hands really hurt. Thankfully, the surgeries took care of my carpal tunnel and my hands no longer feel the pain they did back then. Now I appreciate my healthy hands even more than I did before the carpal tunnel.

Sometimes I think of the hands of my mother, crippled with arthritis, and I want to take the pain away from her. I am amazed by the many things she still manages to accomplish with her hands even though they are deformed. She’s a fighter! I am proud of my mom!

I also think about the many things hands do and the stories they tell. They wipe children’s noses, hug a hurting friend, serve by cooking meals and washing dishes, grip the safety bar of a rollercoaster as it plunges from hill to valley, clap after an arousing song, and are folded to pray. A ring on the left ring finger tells the story of a wedding and a marriage. Painted finger nails speak of a person’s style. Calloused fingers serve as reminders of hard work.

I like to ponder the use of hands …for good and not for harm. How am I using my hands? Do I use them to glorify God or glorify myself? Do I touch others with my hands or hoard them as mine and mine alone? Are my hands a faith story or a story of self-centeredness?

Best of all I like to ponder the hands of Christ as they held children and blessed them, touched people and cured them, broke bread and fed the multitudes, and held the cup and ate the bread. Most of all, I like to ponder His hands as spikes were pounded through them and onto a rough wooden cross. I may not always use my hands to love, but Christ did. For that I am thankful. For that I want to use my hands to love on others.

Will you join me?

In His grip,

Kelly Haack

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