Beautiful Hands

This was written about 5 years ago for our Mother’s Day Service.  Each year, my husband has me speak.  (This version is long, but I wanted to keep all my notes… this was an easy way to do it.)

Hands of my daughter, myself, my mother and Mamaw.
Hands of my daughter, myself, my mother and Mamaw.

Hands – What comes to mind, when you think about hands?  The things that came to my mind were… gentle, soft/rough, soothing, reassuring, caring, loving, blessing, understanding, … hurting, discipline, and release.

I have so many memories.  My Mamaw is a beautiful “Lady”… in the fullest sense of the word.  I remember riding in the car with her and Papaw.  I was the smallest so I would end up in the middle of them in the front seat.  If Papaw’s driving seemed reckless to her in any way, she would grab my leg, with her hand and squeeze.  I remember fighting with others about who sat in the front seat… I didn’t want my leg to have nails dug into it.  🙁  But it is a memory that will always stick with me.

Mamaw wore dress gloves on her hands for as long as I can remember.  She loved hats, gloves, purses and shoes.  They were part of her “signature” dress, if you will.  Anyone you talk to that ever knew her, would say something about her appearance.

What makes hands beautiful?  Close your eyes and think of someone close to you… your mother, a loved one.  Can you see their hands?  Isn’t it amazing that you know what their hands look like?  It is not so much that they look beautiful, but it is because of what they represent to you that they ARE beautiful.

Now, think about what it is that makes them beautiful to you.  What have they done for you?  How have they touched you?

My Mother’s hands are beautiful to me.  Besides all the motherly things they represent, my mother’s hands are beautiful praying hands.  I remember one day when I was sick in bed, wasn’t able to go to school.  I was in a lot of pain.  Mamaw happened to be there, and her and my mother came in the room, laid hands on me and prayed for me.  It wasn’t a sweet little prayer, it was intercession.  These two women KNOW how to pray.

We had a little guest room.  It had a twin bed, a sewing machine and a chair.  I would hear my mother praying behind that closed door.  Often.  Daily.  She knew where to take her problems, and she knew personally the God that she served.  Every morning (unless she was out of town), while I was in school, my mother would pray with me before I walked out the door.  She or my dad would also pray with me, every night before I went to bed.  What an example!

My mother’s hands were there for me in two of my most difficult moments.  First when my daughter, Kelsea, was born.

Mamaw and Kelsea's hands
Mamaw and Kelsea's hands

My mom was right beside me and when they lost Kelsea’s heart beat… my mom was there to pray.  Second, was in 2003, when I was in the hospital.  I remember holding my mom’s hand as she sat beside my bed… praying for me.  One evening, while I was staying at their house after coming home from the hospital, I was sitting on the bed, with her beside me praying until I got through to what I needed.  Not by words, but by what I saw… through her actions, my mother has shown me how important it is to pray.

Now you ask… What does praying really have anything to do with our hands?  Most of us don’t even fold our hands when we pray, but we lift them up in praise and we clap them in worship.  This is where Proverbs 3:27 comes in for me… “Withhold not good to them to whom it is due, when it is in the power of thine hand to do it.

Dear Lord, it’s such a hectic day,
With little time to stop and pray,
For life’s been anything but calm
Since You called me to be a MOM.

Running errands, matching socks,
Building dreams with wooden blocks,
Cooking, cleaning, finding shoes
And other stuff the children lose.

Fitting lids on bottled bugs,
Wiping tears and giving hugs,
A stack of last week’s mail to read
So where’s the quiet time I need?

Yet, when I steal a moment, Lord,
Just at the sink or ironing board,
To ask the blessings of Your grace,
I see then, in my small one’s face,
That you have blessed me all the while
And I stoop to kiss that precious smile
– Author Unknown.

We hold the most precious gift in our hands… physical as well as spiritual hands.  Think about this… It is within our power to either withhold it or give it. Hands often express how we are feeling – open and receiving or pushing away.

I believe the most beautiful hands are praying hands. If we could just see the wonderful things we could bestow on those around us.

  • Matthew 7:7 says that we should ask, seek and knock
  • James 5:16 says “The prayer of a righteous man is effective and powerful.”
  • I John 5:15 says that we should pray for those that are committing sin.
  • Matthew 21:22 says “If you believe, you will receive whatever you ask for in prayer.”
  • John 15:7 says “If you remain in me and my words remain in you, ask whatever you wish, and it will be given you.”

This is only a sampling of the open-ended promises about the effectiveness of prayer.  Prayers of blessings, prayers of protection and healing, prayers for leading and guidance for their lives, God’s will that none should perish, prayers of Salvation.  Prayer changes lives!

It doesn’t just affect those around us!  The more we pray the closer we get to God.  Remember closing your eyes and thinking of a loved ones hands?  In John 20, Jesus had appeared to the disciples, but Thomas had not yet seen him until verse 27 – Then saidth he to Thomas, Reach hither thy finger, and behold my hands… and be not faithless, but believing. 28 – And Thomas answered and said unto him, My Lord and my God. As we get closer to God, we will no longer see His hands as scarred and bloody, but they will become beautiful as we recognize that He is Lord and God as Thomas stated.

Prayer changes lives.  My mother still prays for me.  I am so thankful for that.  But, I feel I can’t express to you enough how important it is to have your own prayer life. I would beg you to put a goal in your mind… to change this world…starting with YOU.

  • Set aside time to pray, start out small each day, then you will see that it grows.
  • When you don’t have the desire to do it, pray for the desire.
  • When you don’t believe, pray for your faith to grow.
  • Be sincere and honest before God.  He already knows how you are feeling and what you are going through.

And once you make your way to Him, He will also see in you beautiful hands, beautiful because they are:

  • Blessing Him.
  • Creating a relationship with Him.
  • Caring about how He feels.
  • Becoming willing to be used for whatever service He need of.

Poem…

The things I never told you I’d like to tell you now;
Of feelings held contentedly inside my heart to swell;
Of thoughts and dreams, wants and happiness too;
A Mother’s prayer to finally share with you.

Lord, govern their lives as you have mine,
Touch them with Your sweet divine,
Make them happy, guide their paths,
Tickle their funnybones, let me hear their laughs.

Dry the tears sliding down their faces,
Hold their hands when the love heart races,
Make them stand tall when the burdens are great,
Prepare them to carry the loads of fate.

Heal the hurts and sufferings of their spirit,
Make them listen until they hear it;
That sweet song of yours that will touch their soul
And carry them forward until they are old.

Lord, let them see the meaning of life,
Protect them from the evils of strife,
Gently guide them in the path of your ways,
I pray, Lord, I pray for them everyday.

I know, Lord, that I fell short many times.
In my guidance as “Mom” there were crimes,
Times that I failed to help them see
The beauty that you have bestowed around me.

Please make things right, Lord, once again,
To help them to see the meaning of friend
And loved ones that hold them close to the heart
With a Mother that loves them, never apart.
– Author Unknown.

More than anything in my life… I want my daughter to think of me when she is my age, as I think of my mother… as having beautiful PRAYING hands.  To know I did everything I could by prayer and intercession, when there is nothing else to do… I want to pray!


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