Last night at church one of our associate pastors read the following poem. Even though it is about a grandmother’s hands I couldn’t help but think about my own mother and her hands. She passed away in July, 2006, and I think I miss her hands most of all…..They did so much for me.
The pastor had to stop a couple of times as he read the poem, and I simply lost it.
At first I thought, “Durn, why did you go and read that? I certainly didn’t need to cry.” However, after some reflection time I realized I should be grateful that the pastor did read the poem because anytime something can trigger a memory of Mother it is indeed time well spent....even if it is also a tearful time.
The only copy of the poem I could find has been altered a bit from the one the pastor read but the majority of it is intact.
I saw my grandmother sitting alone staring at her hands. I thought something was wrong and asked her about it. Grandmother asked, “Have you ever really looked at your hands?”
Grandmother continued, “Stop and think for a moment about the hands you have, how they have served you well throughout the 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 embraced and caught my fall when as a toddler I crashed upon the floor. 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 held my husband and wiped my tears when he went off to war.”
“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 I was married and loved someone special. They wrote my letters to him and trembled and shook when I buried my parents and spouse.”
“They have held my children and grandchildren, consoled neighbors, and shook in fists of anger when I didn’t understand. 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 anything else of me works real 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 don’t think any Christian after reading this could ever look at their hands the same way again.