Sunday, 14 December 2014
What story do your hands tell?
I wasn't just turning the next page in life - I was turning the next page of the morning paper. In the particular section of the newspaper I happened to be reading there's usually a list of people grouped in alphabetical order. And then, either on the same page or somewhere on the next few pages, you'll find the name repeated followed by a brief caption of their life and some other important details. More often than not these life notices will include a picture.
Not that day.
On that day the family who was left behind chose a picture of their loved one's hands rather than her face. Not only was it a hand that obviously had seen many days but included a younger person's hand - a hand that has just started life's journey.
We expect certain things. We expect morning to follow night. We expect spring to follow winter. And, we expect people to grow old. We expect to see in obituaries the faces of those who have died - not their hands.
I'm not sure what this person's family wanted to share by printing a picture of their now deceased's hand grasping a more youthful hand, but it spoke volumes. This was a hand of person who loved and was loved. Hands that worked and served. Hands that held and let go. Hands that wiped tears of sorrow and clapped in victory. Unique to her and like no others. This was a hand that held on to a youth in spite of age.
And, then there were Trevor's hands. It's not what I expected. At 5AM this past Friday morning I knelt beside Trevor for a few minutes before the paramedics arrived. Trevor's hands had had enough of the snow. His hands were cold and clenched. His hands had blood on them from his bleeding face. His hands tried to resist those who came to help him. Finally relenting, Trevor's hands allowed the medic to help him stand. The medics' hands now held him up and I saw Trevor's cold hands relax.
Our hands tell stories - in many ways they mirror our face. We may try to hide the wrinkles, or wash off the evidence. We may strike out with fists in anger or hug tightly in love. Our hands are often expressions of our souls. They are our title page of our life's story.
And Trevor...I pray his hands will grow old - and love - and hold.
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