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Grandma’s Hands

Grandma, some ninety plus years, sat feebly on the patio bench. She didn’t move, just sat with her head down, staring at her hands.

When I sat down beside her, she didn’t acknowledge my presence and the longer I sat, I wondered if she was OK.

Finally, not really wanting to disturb her but wanting to check on her at the same time, I asked her if she was OK. She raised her head and looked at me and smiled.

“Yes, I’m fine, thank you for asking,” she said in a clear strong voice.

“I didn’t mean to disturb you, grandma, but you were just sitting here staring at your hands and I wanted to make sure you were OK,” I explained to her.

“Have you ever looked at your hands,” she asked. “I mean really looked at your hands?”

I slowly opened my hands and stared down at them. I turned them over, palms up and then palms down. No, I guess I had never really looked at my hands as I tried to figure out the point she was making.

Grandma smiled and said “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 braced and caught my fall when as a toddler I crashed upon the floor.

“As a child, my mother taught me to fold them in prayer. They tied my shoes and pulled on my boots.

“They have been decorated with my wedding band they showed the world that I was married and loved someone special.

“They put food in my mouth and clothes on my back.

“They held my husband and wiped my tears when he went off to war.

“They were uneasy and clumsy when I tried to hold my newborn son.

“They trembled and shook when I buried my parents and my 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 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 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 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.

I remember when God reached out and took my grandma’s hands and led her home.

When my hands are hurt or sore or when I stroke the face of my children and husband, I think of grandma. I know she 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.




9 comments

  1. My Grandmother passed away this past Christmas morning. This story describes her so well and bought me to tears as she was 94 and a woman of prayer and the heart of a servant. She had a massive stroke 2 months before she passed away and could not communicate but when we held her hand she would squeeze our hand and when we tried to let go she would keep grabbing for our hand so her hands became the most important part of her and the only way she could feel our presence.

  2. I guessed like you I never really thought about my hands like I did today as I read your email. My eyes were filled with tears as I count the numerous blessing of God upon my life. You have blessed my soul this morning. God bless you more abundantly in Jesus name amen blessing og God upon

  3. Thanks for this post. There is a heart challenging exhortation in this story that takes one back through the woods and darkness of life’s journey. I remember the lyrics of the hymn ” He Leadeth me”

  4. I just looked at my hands yesterday and was reminded — they are beginning to age as my mother’s did at my age! I thought of her and how much love and care her hands gave me. I have been blessed by your story and it reminds me again of God’s gift to us….his Son’s hands and, of course, my mother’s, grandmothers’…and many more that have given to me and shared with me God’s love…..!!

  5. Our Grandmoms are such an important part of our lives and when they share their faith in the goodness of God’s blessings it strenghtens our faith as well. I was encouraged to do likewise.


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