Tuesday, September 16, 2008

BUSY HANDS



Proverbs 14:1 A wise woman builds her home, but a foolish woman tears it down with her own hands.
Proverbs 31:12 She brings him good, not harm, all the days of her life. 13 She selects wool and flax and works with eager hands…….20 She opens her arms to the poor and extends her hands to the needy.
In a beautiful church, on a snowy February night, Gene put a wedding ring on my finger and we said “I do”. I was 20, and the hands that wore that ring were soft, my fingers slender, my nails long and perfectly polished. I didn’t do much housework in those days, just ask my Mom! On second thought, you don’t need to talk to her….. Now, more than 2 decades later, I do not have pretty hands. My fingers are no longer slender, but stubby. My fingernails are clean, short and unpolished. My hands are dry and wrinkly from years of diaper changing, cleaning, cooking and washing dishes for my family of six. They have a delicate texture from years of medicine for nickel allergies and eczema. But my husband thinks my hands are beautiful.
Several years ago, Gene bought me a new wedding ring, and wearing it made me notice my hands. I told him I was making an appointment for a manicure and a parafin so my hands wouldn’t look like I fix tractors for a living. He laughed and gave me maybe the best compliment of my life. He said “Your hands are beautiful to me because of the work you do with them.” Wow. You see why I married this man?
Physical beauty is fleeting. Waistlines spread (what waistline?) Gravity wins. So does gray hair, eventually. But the work that we do with our hands in Christ’s name will remain. With my hands I’ve rocked babies, and colored in coloring books. My hands have mended broken toys and broken hearts. I’ve held hands with my husband, and brushed away tears of sadness and joy. My hands have turned the pages of my Bible in every season of life. With my hands I give food to the needy, and write devotions to encourage women. What can you do with your hands today that will last? It’s not about how pretty your hands are…it’s about how busy they are!
Prayer for today: Father, I offer my hands to you as instruments of your love. Show me today what I can do with my hands that will have lasting value in the lives of others. In Jesus’ name I pray. Amen.

5 comments:

Anonymous said...

Its funny that you should write about hands. I have always had an issue with my hands. They have always looked like "old people" hands. All wrinkled and dry...=(. I even had a boy in the 7th grade tell me that I had granny hands! Being a gymnast, I never took care of them...I never paint my nails...and I have never even had a manicure! So to hear of you talk about the work your hands do, helps me see my own in a different light. They may be "granny" hands, but they have done a lot of good! Thanks for the mind change!
-HM

cara said...

These are awesome...I will pass along to all mommy's I know.

Keep serving Him!
Cara

Anonymous said...

Wow Pastor Les, what a powerful blog today! You have such a way of rich description in the way you write! God has blessed you with a life full of experiences, and we are blessed to get to hear about them and learn from them! Keep up the good work and once again, I have the best pastors in the world!!

Chris

Leslie Oden said...

Chris,
Thanks so much! There is a river of encouragement flowing through you, and I can't imagine Crossroads without you! L.

Kendall said...

I can RELATE. This blog brought tears to my eyes.