hands.

They say the eyes are the window to the soul, but I think I see yours through your hands.

I can recognize anybody by their hands. Go ahead, test me on it. It’s a weird quirk of mine (one of many) but this is the very feature I notice first about a person. It’s a kind of infatuation for me, studying a person’s hands and committing them to memory; I watch them as you speak, punctuating ideas and flying through the air with excitement or fiddling mindlessly. I see hours of work in the callouses that give your hands character, in the dirt that collects under your fingernails and the deep lines on your palms. Rings signify love stories– the inheritance of an ancestor, the reminder of your roots, the promise of a companion.

We wear our life stories on our hands– and in them, we hold the power to change lives.

My own hands are nothing special; they’re small and kind of knuckle-y and my nail polish is usually chipped. The winter air assaults them, leaving them dry and cracked until the summer sun rejuvenates the skin and leaves a warmer shade behind. My hands are not pretty, scarred from my own clumsiness– tiny accidents that leave permanent relics on my skin– always cold, a little shaky. My grandmother’s ring adorns my left middle finger, a steady reminder of her loving presence, even now. There’s nothing special about my hands except what they can do.

My hands can build ramps for the handicap and serve food to the hungry; they can embrace a friend or wipe away tears; they can write, express and encourage. My hands are my tools, given by God, to carry out the purpose He has set for me to do. And though I may not fully know what that purpose is yet, all I can do is lift my hands– empty and ready to be filled– to the One who knows exactly how to use them. This is where we can all begin.

I look around me at this fallen world and I see so much work to be done. And then I look down at my hands and I wonder where on earth to even begin. I see scars and imperfections and think surely God can’t use my hands. But then I remember that I know someone else whose hands are scarred, and I know there is hope for me yet.

I have realized that changing the world is God’s work; I can only change my world. But if each of us changes just one corner of our individual worlds, we can begin to see a revolution until the day that all will be made new. Each of us may feel as if our hands are just too small to carry the whole world, to reach that far, to touch so many. But that’s the beauty of it all: that even one touch ripples outward almost infinitely and can affect more than we ever dare dream.

If we each touch just one life, if we changed just one aspect of this world for the better, I believe the reverberations would echo throughout the universe. It’s a massive feat, too big for any one of us to accomplish, but made entirely possible by the collaboration of tiny, everyday acts that add up to real change. Not one person, but one body.

Billions of hands, reaching toward the same goal, working for the same God.

 

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