Hands. Creator God knew what He was doing when He fashioned hands, didn’t He? By this time in life, mine are marred with dark spots, wrinkles, crooks, and lumps, and they’re marked with squiggly lines that resemble fat, blue worms. Certainly not suitable for a hand lotion ad. Still, I can’t imagine how I’d manage without them.
Bravo to amputees who have lost one or both hands—or other limbs—but have learned to function in spite of it. These brave souls put the rest of us to shame.
Several years ago, my granddaughter Ella and I put our heads and hands together as my mother and I did for sewing projects decades ago, albeit over a different sort of project.
Ella’s mother, my daughter, was turning 45, and we wanted to create something special for the event.
A wooden cross inlaid by my husband with the dove of peace caught my eye. It would make the perfect centerpiece for a string of beads, a necklace for a daughter who loves jewelry.
Ella and I jumped into the car and buzzed to Michael’s. No need to ask for assistance. We knew the way to the “make-your-own” jewelry aisle.
“There, Mama D,” Ella said, pointing.
“Wooden beads. Perfect.”
“Look. They come in different colors.”
“Which ones match the cross?”
“I think the brown and beige. How ’bout you?”
“And there’s a package of bronze beads.”
“For contrast. Perfect.”
And off we hurried toward home.
Gifted in “put-together” skills, Ella was assembling complicated puzzles before she started to school. She’s the “go-to girl” for whatever falls apart. So stringing her mom’s birthday necklace was easy as pie.
As my aged hands worked beside Ella’s, the contrast was extreme. Tendons and bulging veins, age spots and lines marked the backs of my hands while hers were soft and smooth. This took me back to 1958 when I completed my first sewing project at age 12.
As a 4-H farm girl, my learning to sew was a given.
Mother’s Singer hummed in its on-again/off-again manner long into many a night. I learned to cut out a pattern and manipulate the foot pedal and presser foot with Mother standing over me and guiding me with her experienced hands. Her mother had done the same with her.
One generation teaching another, passing on the skills former generations had passed to them, is a tradition in our family, as it was with the McFarlands in The Calling of Ella McFarland.
It struck me that our hands didn’t work alone. Another pair worked alongside ours—my mother’s—to produce a lovely necklace.
Those thoughts brought to mind a much more significant time long ago and in another place. Other hands created a project with far greater results:
Then the Lord God formed a man from the dust of the ground and breathed into his nostrils the breath of life, and the man became a living being.
Genesis 2:7 NIV
The Lord created Adam and Eve to live in community with Him, not to leave them alone. Nor did He abandon their descendants. God taught His people to pass on their knowledge of Him to their children:
Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your strength. These commandments that I give you today are to be on your hearts.
Impress them on your children.
Talk about them when you sit at home
and when you walk along the road,
when you lie down
and when you get up.
Tie them as symbols on your hands
and bind them on your foreheads.
Write them on the doorframes of your houses and on your gates.
Deuteronomy 6:5-9 NIV
When parents of faith teach their children, other hands—in triplicate form—join them. When invited.
“Which of you, if your son asks for bread, will give him a stone? Or if he asks for a fish, will give him a snake? If you, then, though you are evil, know how to give good gifts to your children, how much more will your Father in heaven give good gifts to those who ask him!
Matthew 7:9-11 NIV
Have you invited the Lord to join you in your daily life? Have you asked Him to lead you as you lead your children? Or set His hands alongside yours to guide them? He will. Just ask.
Dear Lord, when You entered our world through Jesus, You changed the course of all history. More importantly, You spanned the great gulf between us and eternity and set peace in our hearts. We invite you to enter our homes today. Our families. Our hearts. Set Your hands alongside ours and guide us unto all generations.
For Jesus’ sake.