When was the last time you studied the hands of someone you love? In observing them, have you really thought about the years those hands have seen… years of hardship along with kinder and gentler times? Those hands are visible reminders of all your loved one has gone through… of a life well lived through testing and trial, and of a calming peace during or following a storm.
Gazing at my husband’s hands, the hands behind this poem, I’m reminded of all the years he spent as a dairy farmer… with the calluses and bruises; the painful cracks caused by winter’s cold on hands that were in and out of wash water at milking time; the dirt and grease deeply embedded in the skin from barn chores and machinery repairs; splitting and stacking firewood; the fractured wrist after his first day of kindergarten when he jumped off the top of the baler; a large scar at the base of his right hand from falling on glass and cutting it wide open when he was 5 years old; the fingernail smashed under a hammer’s blow with resultant painful blood blister to which he put a tiny drill bit, creating a wee little hole which immediately drained blood, relieving the intense pressure (what courage that took!); the tenderness with which he held and cared for our three tiny newborns; the housework, laundry and cooking he didn’t mind helping with; how gently his hard-working hands held me, his wife; and how precious his hands when they carry concerns and thanksgiving in the depths of prayer to God.
Hands… they can express so much of the love deep within one’s heart and soul. They don’t just carry the visible reminders of years of hard work, but they also remind us of the many ways love is shown by all they’ve done in serving others… sometimes in ways no one else ever sees but God.
Quite like the hands of our Lord and Savior… likely scarred from bumps and bruises as a child, callused and cut from learning to master his father’s carpentry tools, to the soft and gentle touch He gave those seeking His help during His ministry, to the visible scars left by nails so painfully pounded into His hands which held Him on that cross, and to the warm and welcoming hands He holds out as He draws us close to Himself.
Hands… they have an elegant beauty unsurpassed whether worn and scarred or soft and tender… and nothing can compare to their beauty when they’re used to serve others in love.
Linda A. Roorda
Your hands are scarred from a life of service
From selfless giving to meet others’ needs
Rough and calloused, yet soft and gentle
Your hands speak loud of a life well lived.
Your hands of strength have been there for me
Through thick and thin they carried my heart
And when I stumble with faltering steps
Your hands reach out to hold me gently.
Your hands so gently hold my heart close
Guiding in love they’ve shown me the way,
And though life’s storms have wearied my soul
Your hands have brought a contented calm.
Your hands are rough from labors of life
Cracked and bruised they speak of hard work,
Yet they gently gripped the tiny fingers
Of children young who adored their Pop.
Your hands were tender to embrace our babes
They rocked to sleep and held to comfort
They wiped away tears to mend little hearts
And clapped to praise accomplishments earned.
Your hands have aged as the years have flown
Yet they reflect your tender heart,
For as I note their weathered features
Their lines show love so freely given.
Your hands are clasped in daily prayers
Seeking wisdom from the Lord above,
His guiding light that shines on your path
Directing your hands from His heart of love.
Your hands are soft yet scarred by hardship
They’ve been dismayed by bruises of life,
They shower love as you give your all
And gently hold with comforting peace.
Your hands like Christ’s have served with joy
Gifted for use in humble service
May they always bring glory and praise
For in your hands are seen God’s love.
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