There's been some...talk (alarm)...shall we say...about the condition (scary appearance) of my hands, in the comment section of my blogs lately. To which I now respond~No, it's not contagious. Yes, I'm aware they're corpse-like. And yes, I've tried lotion.
Years ago, when I was about five or six, we were given the opportunity (forced) to play "Red Rover, Red Rover, Send Feeble Kid Right Over." That SPLENDID (cruel) game where you held each other's hands tightly and waited for the most malnourished, anemic child to attempt to break the link~usually ending with the wind being knocked out of them and/or broken ribs.
Well, if ever there was an excruciating moment in my life, it was every one of those. Not because I was the fragile child, as we've already established I was the BASE OF EVERY PYRAMID. No, not that. But because some brat missing a thought/mouth filter would inevitably scream, "EWWWWW!!! WHAT'S WRONG WITH YOUR HANDS? THEY'RE LIKE GRANDMA HANDS!!!" And then wrench theirs away violently, like I was covered in boogers and warts.
Now, obviously, this could only raise my self esteem to lofty heights, as I held my head~and hands~high, like an Olympian with their Country's flag. And so I was obliged to do something that I'm not proud of people...but it was necessary...for survival...in the killing fields known as recess playground. I made up a story...a lie, really. And I know what you're thinking. "That's how she started to blog." And you'd be right. But it had humble beginnings as self preservation and only recently BLOSSOMED into shameless fame seeking.
"It's not my fault that my hands are this way," I'd fabricate. "When I was little, my dad was working on his car, and he put this oil stuff in a tray, and told me not to touch it. But I ACCIDENTALLY got it aaaallllll over my hands. And this is what happened." And I'd hold my hands up for inspection, and the kids would "Oooooo" and "Ahhhhhh" and look at me with disgusted rapture. Suddenly, I was kind of like The Phantom of the Opera~a little bit feared, but also weirdly compelling and pitied. It did the trick. They'd take me by the arm and grab their friends to Show and Tell about my tragedy~which would always end in an ominous whisper about "special car oil stuff" that you should never, ever, EVER get on your hands.
Fast forward to 6th grade square dancing, and in between every Virginia Reel, I would lick my hands, hold them together to make them warm, and then take hold of my partner's hand, letting him think the spit was sweat. I know. And I'm sorry, Troy.
"Heavenly Father, why would you do this to me? People make fun of me, and I'll never be able to hold a boy's hand without being embarrassed!"
"Compassion? Being compelled to stay virtuous and pure? You're welcome."
Fast forward even MORE years, and you have two innocents, holding hands over an altar, as they are told that on top of our hands, our Savior places His hand, and the only way for us to break up our eternal marriage would be to first remove our God. Truer words never have been spoken.
Still more years pass, and fresh from the heavens, an entire baby hand wraps tightly around one wrinkly mother's finger, as one by one, I clutch four beautiful infants to my overwhelmed and humble heart. And I nurture and I feed...and I plead. And I wipe, and I hold and I squeeze.
The story goes that a marble statue of the Christus was placed in a town square. Vandals came in the night, and broke both hands off, which could never be repaired. There was talk of removing or replacing the statue, but finally an answer came. A plaque was placed beneath the broken Christ. It simply said, "I have no hands but yours."
And one day, years from now, I will hold them up to my Heavenly Father for scrutiny. And I will Show and Tell Him everything that they did. And He'll listen...and I can only hope and pray that He will hold them up to ME, and whisper, "See? Do you see what they were capable of? Did you ever THINK that so much could come from just ONE SET OF THESE?"
And then I will look, and I will realize, that they never were just "grandma hands." They were His. And chances are, they have always been exactly in line with the age of my spirit.
And they will be BEAUTIFUL to me.