Given Hands

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I have spent a lot of time tracing the scars on my hands. I can remember most of them for good or bad. The shade of skin tells me how old. The numbness tells me how bad the damage was at the time. Have you ever caught yourself staring at your hands? They are the maps to our past; roadways written in scars. When we make a fist, we can remember when we had to use it. We can remember if we shook someone’s hand; awkwardly accepting them. We gage how a situation has affected us by the shaking of our hands from fear. I was taught at a young age to expect to make my way in life by the strength of my hands.

When I was young, my grandfather talked about what he could do with his hands. He was a big man built to run a farm; big arms burst sleeves of his uniform; big hands gripped handles to build fence. He taught me how to be a mechanic. I quickly learned how to bust my knuckles with a wrench. I spent a lot of time passing him tools and watching his hands go to work.

His generation knew what it meant to use their hands. They built cities, settled disputes, made friends, and waged war with their hands. Respect was given with a salute. A hand shake meant an oath. A fist was formed to stop a fight, not start one. A slap on the shoulder was a sign of good work. Identity for each person was found in the finger tips.

Today is different. Hands are not sacred anymore. Now everyone believes in words; words they hear or words they say. Words mean nothing in passing. Actions are the only things that matter. Actions are put into motion by hands. Written word is created by hands. To speak does not make you bold; to ramble does not make you wise; to blurt does not make you exciting, but you can hold someone; that makes you strong. You can tie a child’s shoe. You can throw a dog a ball. You can ask for a wrench from a young child, and show them what you are about to fix. Be that change in life.

Faith is seen in the form of praying hands; the hands that toil. Even the faithless are linked to us by their hands. Bound, we are tied together on this plane. Hand in hand, we walk the path. Remember your hands the next time you feel down. Use them to pull yourself back up. Reach for the things that words cannot describe. Latch on to life and point your own direction.

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