For a moment, look at your own hands, or the hands of one you love. Aren’t they marvelously made? I read an article recently by by Dr George McGavin, on the BBC, about the hand. He said: “It’s truly one of the most complex pieces of engineering in the human body. It gives us a powerful grip but also allows us to manipulate small objects with great precision. This versatility sets us apart from every other creature on the planet.”
When you think about it, it’s our hands that speak to our brains. Kant said that the hand is the visible part of our minds. Hands tell the brain that things are soft, hot, cold, rough, etc. But hands also speak to our hearts. My father’s hands spoke to me better than his words. His hands were strong hands—he had a vice-like hand shake, but such was his generation of men. Even after he turned 80 his squeeze could make you wince! He and men of his time gripped with their hands and held on tight. When he shook your hand you knew that it was not the passive touch of one piece of flesh upon yours; it conveyed the strength of his character. During his lifetime, a “contract” was literally made complete with with a hand-shake. That’s all that was needed.
I lost my father 25 years ago yesterday. But I will never forget his hands. They were always carefully manicured and clean. I really can’t recall ever seeing them dirty! The day he died I held onto those powerful, warm hands until they turned cold. God willing, one day one of my sons will hold my hands one last time the same way.
We learn so much with our hands—-after all, they hold our hearts. In fact, the heart is the same size as your closed first. But what about my hands? How will my sons remember my fingers, and warmth of my hugs, embraces and handshakes. Do I touch them enough? Do I communicate my love and approval sufficiently with my hands? Do they see my hands as objects of affection, protection, industry and often folded in prayer, or as parts of my anatomy that I lift in frustration and anger?
One of most sinister aspects of this Covid pandemic is that we’re being conditioned to be shun fellowship, congregating, and worst of all, the hands of other people. It’s one thing to be encouraged to wash our hands more, but we now hesitate to give or accept a hand-shake or a hug, and we imagine every hand as a potential transmitter of the deadly virus—-rather than a marvelous extension and symbol of God’s love and adoration. It’s important to be be safe, wise, and take precautions, but it’s essential to be holy reflections of the creatures He imagined us to be. What will I with my hands today to mirror the divine within me? What about you?