Her hands, tan from the sun, were wrinkled and rough, nails cut short and not a hint of polish. The hands of a gardener, stained dark with the rich humus of the Northwest. Leathery callouses between thumb and forefinger forged by her pruning shears. My mother didn’t like gloves,
“Can’t feel what I need too.” she would say.
I remember in the last decade of her life, when aging joints and declining health kept her from her beloved garden, the skin on those hands grew translucent, revealing the network of veins that had fed those working hands. Confined to a wheelchair, she would sit before her picture window and watch over her garden. Always calling my attention to notice the new subtle changes of the day. She would watch me pick a bouquet from her yard and when she put her nose to the fragrance, I saw her swept away into the world of her heart, the natural world.
I see in my own hands now, the sun browned skin and callouses of the gardener and I think of her ~ my mother. My skin shows wrinkles and the leathery toughness of outdoor life. My fingers are long and slender and my veins generous, healthy. Hands.
That with which we grasp at physical life. That with which we hold on, reach out for, clasp around, grip with welcome, wash too much. Those hands given to us by God.
He carefully fashioned them, giving us tools ~ good sturdy tools. Hands.
I think about the work of my own hands, to rub backs, roll out piecrust, fold laundry and so much more. They allow me to write, to translate the intangible into tangible.
To tell stories.
God uses our hands to write his stories.
My hands. Your hands. Gods tools. Vehicles of expression. They convey feelings: thumbs up, thumbs down. They give direction: a beckon, a warning. Imagine the great hands of God, fashioning a woman from a man, weaving together sunsets, building mountains. The very great hands of God. A sweep of one could change the face of the earth, yet He holds back. He waits. He holds open ~ his hands.
He beckons us.
Cindy Peterson is a native of the Pacific Northwest. Mother of four, Grandmother, wife and lover of God. Captivated by the redemptive work of God through story in the small group setting. Outdoors woman, athlete, gardener, photographer. She loves to run in the woods with her dogs. She writes here.n