Hands of Time

I hope you had a blessed Christmas with your friends and family.  It truly was a nostalgic one for me.  My mom turned 94.  My dad has been in heaven for 6 years.  My newlywed daughter spent Christmas 3,000 miles away with her husband’s family.  So quite honestly, while there were moments of great joy, there were some times of reflective sadness and loss.  But isn’t that true of all of us as we watch the years go by?  Life doesn’t stay the same.  Nor should it.

I’ve always liked to observe certain things, like hands.  Who hasn’t counted the fingers and toes of their newborn baby?  I love the chubby hands of toddlers…the play dough underneath the fingernails.  I can see my dad’s hands in my own, the shape of our fingernails and knuckles.  I can vividly remember seeing my dad’s hands turn the pages of the Sunday “funny papers” as I sat on his lap and he read to me every cartoon, and we heartily laughed together.

I’ve done a lot of looking at my mom’s hands lately as I watch the swelling slowly go down from her fall nearly 3 months ago.  Her left arm was broken in 2 places which caused significant swelling in her hand.  The ER doctor wisely told me to take her rings off quickly otherwise they’d have to be cut off…he foresaw the inevitable swelling.  I remember watching her young, graceful hands glide over piano keys as she played hymns and favorite songs for us to enjoy.  Today her hands are worn and marked with age.  Blue veins bulging out from paper thin skin.  But I still see the love in my mother’s hands as I remember…hands that combed my messy hair; hands that tenderly stroked my face as a child; hands that tied my shoes; hands that cooked countless meals for our family throughout the years.  Those young supple fingers of her youth are long gone.  But in many ways, her hands are the same, hands that served us with love and compassion.  Hands that continue to love in their own, tired way.  Not like they used to.  But hands that will always represent Jesus’ love to me.

So when the decorations are put away, and the lights on the houses have gone dim again, remember that the reason for celebrating is still with us.  Many things change as life moves on.  But one thing stays the same…Jesus.  And the hope He brings.  That’s reason to celebrate every day.

Warm blessings in Christ,

Barbara Beck

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