Hands Tell a Story

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I was touched by a FaceBook post from a young woman who cares for the elderly. She was going to paint a woman’s fingernails and asked what color she wanted them to be. The woman said, “Just clear, my hands are ugly and I don’t want to call attention to them.” This sweet young woman answered, “Your hands tell the story of your life. They tell the story of love, of care and adventure. These hands have touched and held things that most people can only wish to one day.” She painted her nails a pretty pink.

Here’s where my mind wandered:

  • I especially remember the hands that have touched me when I was hurting or ill. The cool hand on a fevered brow or strong grip that helped me up when I felt too weak to stand.
  • I remember hands gripping mine or laid on my shoulder or back in prayer when the load just seemed too heavy to bear.
  • I remember the hands holding out lovingly baked bread or pie or dinner when there was little in the pantry.
  • I remember the handshake that slipped a sorely needed bill into my hand.

My mind then wandered to people I’ve touched that few others could.

  • A baby born at just 7 months that was 1 ½ pounds. That baby lived!
  • A few believers in China
  • Some special needs children and their parents
  • An MS patient in a nursing home during her last few years
  • Some women I may never meet face to face, but have email counseled and encouraged.

Then I was thinking about things I’ve touched that my grandchildren may never even know about:

  • Rotary telephone
  • Pay phones
  • Hand beater
  • Knitting machine
  • Tape recorder
  • Mimeograph copier
  • Manual typewriter
  • Roller skates with keys
  • A player piano

Sometimes I get to sit with an older woman and listen to her stories. Some of stories are so tragic, they break your heart. Others are funny. Others so inspiring.

Hands show the effects of what we have done and where we have been. Only when we take the time to listen will our hearts be touched by the stories those hands have to tell. I want to learn to be a better listener. Too many times I let people ask me questions and don’t get to hear their stories. I am going to make an effort to change that in 2019!

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