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Grandpa’s Hands

Grandpa, some ninety plus years, sat feebly on the patio bench. He didn’t move just sat with his head down staring at his hands.

When I sat down beside him he didn’t acknowledge my presence and the longer I sat I wondered if he was OK.

Finally not wanting to disturb him but wanting to check on him at the same time, I asked if he was OK.

He raised his head and looked at me and smiled. “Yes, I’m fine , thank you for asking”, he said in a clear strong voice.  

“I didn’t mean to disturb you , Grandpa, but you were just sitting and staring at your hands and I wanted to make sure you were OK ” I said

Have you ever looked at your hands, ” he 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 I said” as I tried to figure out the point he was making.

Grandpa smiled and related this story: .

“Stop and think for a moment about the hands you have and how they have served you well throughout the years. These hands though wrinkled and shriveled and weak have been the tools I have used all of my life to reach out and grab and embrace life.”

“They caught my fall when as a toddler I crashed to the floor”
“They put the food in my mouth and clothes on my body.”
“They tied my shoes and pulled on my boots”
“They held my rifle and wiped my tears when I went off to the 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 that I was married and loved someone special.”
” They wrote the letters home and trembled and shook when I buried my parents and spouse and walked my daughter down the aisle”.
“Yet they were strong and sure when I dug my buddy out of a foxhole and lifted a plow off of my best friend’s foot.”
“They have held my children and grandchildren and consoled my 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, scratched and torn.”
” 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 have been and 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 His hands He will lift me to His side and there I will use these hands to touch His Face”

I will never look at my hands the same again . But I remember God reached out and took my Grandpa’s hands and led him home.

When my hands are hurt or sore or when I stroke the face of my children and my wife..
I think of Grandpa. I know he 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.

Is it well with your soul?

nAuthor unknown.

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12 Responses to Grandpa’s Hands

  1. Hawkeye says:

    This message really hit home with me; thanks, Paul.
    Please allow me to add to it, with ‘Grandma’s Hands, by Bill Withers:

    Grandma’s hands
    Clapped in church on Sunday morning
    Grandma’s hands
    Played a tambourine so well
    Grandma’s hands
    Used to issue out a warning
    She’d say, “Billy don’t you run so fast
    Might fall on a piece of glass
    Might be snakes there in that grass”
    Grandma’s hands

    Grandma’s hands
    Soothed a local unwed mother
    Grandma’s hands
    Used to ache sometimes and swell
    Grandma’s hands
    Used to lift her face and tell her
    She’d say, “Baby, Grandma understands
    That you really love that man
    Put yourself in Jesus hands”
    Grandma’s hands

    Grandma’s hands
    Used to hand me piece of candy
    Grandma’s hands
    Picked me up each time I fell
    Grandma’s hands
    Boy, they really came in handy
    She’d say, “Matty don’ you whip that boy
    What you want to spank him for?
    He didn’t drop no apple core”
    But I don’t have Grandma anymore
    If I get to Heaven I’ll look for
    Grandma’s hands

  2. The Funny Farmer says:

    That actually brought tears to my eyes….

    Breathless even for a second towards the end…

    What a great story.

    God Bless us All….

  3. Angel-NYC says:

    Hawkeye @ 8:57 am

  4. Angel-NYC says:

    Daddy’s Hands – Holly Dunn (Lyrics)

    I remember Daddy´s hands, folded silently in prayer.
    And reaching out to hold me, when I had a nightmare.
    You could read quite a story, in the calluses and lines.
    Years of work and worry had left their mark behind.

    I remember Daddy´s hands, how they held my Mama tight,
    And patted my back, for something done right.

    There are things that I´ve forgotten, that I loved about the man,
    But I´ll always remember the love in Daddy´s hands.

    Daddy’s hands were soft and kind when I was cryin´.
    Daddy´s hands, were hard as steel when I´d done wrong.
    Daddy´s hands, weren´t always gentle
    But I´ve come to understand.
    There was always love in Daddy´s hands.

    I remember Daddy´s hands, working ’til they bled.
    Sacrificed unselfishly, just to keep us all fed.
    If I could do things over, I´d live my life again.
    And never take for granted the love in Daddy´s hands.

    Daddy’s hands were soft and kind when I was cryin´.
    Daddy´s hands, were hard as steel when I´d done wrong.
    Daddy´s hands, weren´t always gentle
    But I´ve come to understand.
    There was always love in Daddy´s hands.

    Daddy’s hands were soft and kind when I was cryin´.
    Daddy´s hands, were hard as steel when I´d done wrong.
    Daddy´s hands, weren´t always gentle
    But I´ve come to understand.
    There was always love …..
    In Daddy´s hands.

  5. Paul says:

    Thanks Hawkeye, and Angel. My grandpa and grandma died before I was borne. Was raised by my mom, so I can relate somewhat.
    God bless you guys. 🙂

    • Angel-NYC says:

      Like you, my grandparents were gone long before I was born. I only had photos and stories about them. Wish I could have met them.

    • Hawkeye says:

      Thank you, Paul and Angel!

      I had the good fortune to live with my grandparents during my early elementary school years. I cherish the memories of music lessons at the piano with Grandma and hunting and shooting lessons with Grandpa. Now, I’m the Grandpa and I’m able to pass that knowledge along to my grandchildren – what a blessing!

  6. Paul says:

    Thanks Angel for posting this. I gained Great knowledge from my mother. She has been gone since 1970. She was 58.

    • Angel-NYC says:

      I am so sorry that she left you at such a young age. 🙁
      <3

      • Paul says:

        Yes I missed her terribly for a while. Her sister, May aunt was a true lady, and kinda took me under her wing. She grew to be my soul mate as time went by. She left this world at 95 years of age. Wonderful lady. She left me with much knowledge about life. It was an honor for her to be in my life as long as she was. 🙂

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