As I sat with my daughter in my lap, one hand cradled the book. The other hand pointed out the words as I read. Memories raced through my mind in moments like those. I wandered to a simpler time and place. Not long ago I was in the lap of my father. His hands were doing the same thing.
His hands were huge to me then. I looked at them seeing the missing segment of his middle finger. The piece from the first knuckle to the tip was gone and his palm was very scarred. I asked him, “Daddy what happened to your hand?” He chuckled softly, “Somebody threw a fire cracker in my car. I thought I could throw it back.”
My father’s hands have done many things. He is one of the handiest people I know. Those hands are always up to something. Those hands swung hammers to build rooms and they swung belts to build character. Those hands squeezed pliers and they also squeezed tickle buttons. Those hands made a living and some of the things that make life worth living.
It is not at all unusual for me to reach out with my hand. On my hand would be a golden ring he crafted. My hand might grab a piece of candy he made with pecans he shelled after he picked them up off the ground. That candy might sit on a dish that he poured, cleaned, fired and finished. That dish might sit on a French provincial table he carved. You see he is quite handy.
My father’s hands don’t hoard the knowledge. They taught me to use a pencil, a hammer, a torch, a square, a spatula and just about anything else. He used to teach wood shop, jewelry and ceramics. He taught me so much about my own hands.
When my son brought me the remains of an irreparable toy, I told him I could not fix it. He said he would take it to my father, “He can fix anything.”
His hands are warm and friendly, steady and strong. I value that now more than ever. I have spent a great deal of time clinching my fists. I have put a lot of energy in learning to use my hands to fight. Now I need to use them for something different. My hands must be creative. My hands must be productive. My hands must become more like my father’s hands.
Thank You Lord for blessing me through my father’s hands. Bless my hands that they might serve you too.