Monday, March 21, 2011

Hands, Part 1

I believe you can tell a lot about a person by looking at their hands.

Are their hands soft? Chapped? Rough and cracked? Calloused? Grease stained, highly manicured? Are their finger nails short, long, clean, chipped, chewed to the quick? Any nibbled on hangnails? Do their hands look strong? Feeble? Arthritic?

I’ve always had a fascination with hands. It’s one of the first things I notice upon meeting a new person.  Some folks are “eye people” or “butt people”.

Me? I’m a “hand person”.

Think of all of the awesome – and sometimes horrific – things we do with our hands…

Just a few short weeks ago, a surgeon with his legions of support staff performed open heart surgery on my mom.  With precision and extreme care, their hands delicately repaired a clogged artery and sew a new valve into her heart. 

Just pause here for a moment. 

Ponder the thought of the intricate details involved for the hands to ever so gently work inside a human chest to repair a living organ!

So what brought forth this bizarre train of thought?

It was the night before mom’s heart surgery.  I lay in her hospital room, next to her bed, on a chair designed to be a make-shift bed.  I was unable to sleep.  My mind was meandering.  I could hear mom’s slightly panting, labored breathing; the hiss of the hospital air mattress adjusting to mom’s movements as she struggled to get comfortable; one of many machines dinging as mom’s oxygen level dropped below acceptable levels once again…

I watched the nurse rush in to lay a calming hand on mom’s forehead. Later a visiting physician laid his hand on mom’s arm and offered her physical reassurance with her touch. Then my thoughts drifted to the surgeon’s hands that would be INSIDE my mother’s body in less than 12 hours.

I looked at my hands.

My hands. His hands. 

Hands in general.

I thought, “What good are these hands? What damage have my hands inflicted?  How can I do more good with these hands?  To help my mom, sisters, Husband, children, family, friends, co-workers, unknown people?”

If I say that I believe in “Pay It Forward”, are my actions matching my words?  What good works can my hands do to ease life for someone else?

What are your thoughts about the good works (or bad) that your hands can do or have done?

1 comment:

Cory Thians said...

God has blessed you with a style of writing that speaks directly to the heart. I hadn't thought of hands in this way before. Thank you, I will be more aware of not only what others are doing, but what my hands are doing too.