Grandpa, some ninety plus years, sat feebly on the patio bench. He didn't move, just sat with his head down staring at his hands. When I sat down beside him he didn't acknowledge my presence. Finally, I asked him if he was OK.
"Have you ever looked at your hands," he asked. "I mean really looked at your hands?"
"Stop and think for a moment about the hands you have, how they have served you well throughout your years. These hands, though wrinkled, shriveled, and weak have been the tools I have used all my life to reach out and grab and embrace life. They put food in my mouth and clothes on my back.”
“As a child my mother taught me to fold them in prayer. They tied my shoes and pulled on my boots. They have been dirty, scraped and raw, swollen and bent. They were uneasy and clumsy when I tried to hold my newborn son. Decorated with my wedding band they showed the world that I was married and loved someone special. They trembled and shook when I buried my parents and spouse and walked my daughter down the aisle.”
“They have covered my face, combed my hair, and washed and cleansed the rest of my body. They have been sticky and wet, bent and broken, dried and raw. And to this day, when not much of anything else of me works really well, these hands hold me up, lay me down, and again continue to fold in prayer. These hands are the mark of where I've been and the ruggedness of my life. But more importantly it will be these hands that God will reach out and take when he leads me home. And with my hands He will lift me to His side, and there I will use these hands to touch the face of Christ."
I will never look at my hands the same again. But I remember God reached out and took my grandpa's hands and led him home. When my hands are hurt or sore I think of Grandpa. I know he has been stroked and caressed and held by the hands of God. I, too, want to touch the face of God and feel His hands upon my face.
Note: The above story came to me via email, author unknown. I have edited it for space considerations. The picture above is of my grandpa. We called him Granddaddy. Years ago I wrote an article about his hands that was published by Focus on the Family.
Elder Source Senior Ministries