Wednesday, January 10, 2024

Have you ever thought about your hands?

All photos courtesy of Unsplash 

An old man sat feebly on a park bench. He did not move, just sat with his head down staring at his hands. When a middle-aged man sat down beside him he did not acknowledge his presence and the longer he sat, the more the middle-aged man wondered if the old man was okay. Finally, not really wanting to disturb him but wanting to check on him at the same time, he asked him if he was okay. The old man raised his head, looked at him and smiling said in a clear strong voice, “Yes, I'm fine, thank you for asking. Have you ever really looked at your hands?”

The middle-aged man slowly opened his own hands and stared down at them. He turned them over trying to figure out the point the old man was making.  Then the old man smiled and related this story:

“Stop and think for a moment about the hands you have, how they have served you well throughout your years. These hands, though wrinkled, shrivelled and weak have been the tools I have used all my life. They braced 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 dried the tears of my children and caressed the love of my life. They have been dirty, scrapped and raw, swollen and bent.
Decorated with my wedding ring, they showed the world that I was married and loved someone special. They were uneasy and clumsy when I tried to hold my newborn son. They trembled and shook when I buried my parents and spouse and walked my daughter down the aisle. To this day, when not much of anything else of me works real well, these hands hold me up, lay me down, and again continue to fold in prayer.

More importantly it will be these hands that God will reach out to, and take when he leads me home. He will not care about where these hands have been or what they have done. What He will care about is to whom these hands belong and how much He loves the owner of these hands, because with these hands He will lift me to His side and there I will use these hands to touch the face of Christ."

After hearing the old man's story, the middle-aged never looked at his hands the same again. He did not see the old man again after he left the park that day, but he knew he would never forget him and the words he spoke.  So from that day onwards, when his hands hurt or were sore, he thought of the old man in the park, and felt he had been stroked and caressed and held by the hands of God.

If we want to touch the face of God and feel His hands upon our faces we need to thank God for hands and particularly for the hands of the Saviour because:-

His hands were pierced, the hands that made 
The mountain range and everglade; 
That washed the stains of sin away 
And changed earth's darkness into day. 

His feet were pierced, the feet that trod 
The furthest shining star of God; 
His heart was pierced, the heart that burned 
To comfort every heart that yearned, 

His hands and feet and heart - all three 
Were pierced for me on Calvary, 
And here and now to him I bring 
My hands, feet, heart - an offering!


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