Thursday, December 9, 2010

My Father's Hands

As a child, one of my favorite things to do was to hold my daddy's hand.  It was strong and calloused and enveloped my pudgy little girl hand.  I always felt safe and loved when I held my daddy's hand.  Many Sunday morning sermons were back-ground music to my exploration of every nook and cranny of my father's hands.  My father's hands were the physical manifestation of love.  They spoke love through acts of service to his family and those he felt called to provide for and protect.  My father's hands spoke volumes.

As a young woman, I looked at a mans hands before deciding if he was worthy of my time. Lilly white, manicured digits with soft, pink undertones left me with a vague uneasiness that I couldn't quite explain.  Strong, calloused, slightly dirty hands with scars and character drew me like a moth to flame.  I had to know the man behind the hands!

The man I married, my Slayer of Dragons, has working mans hands.  They are strong and rough, but can become velvet in an instant.  My husbands hands are the hands of a useful man.  They are used to doing.  They are used to working.  They are the hands of a man that can provide and protect.  They are the hands of a Dragon Slayer.  And so Sir Knight uses his hands to slay dragons for me every day. His love for his family is made evident through his hands.

I watch my daughters.  They love to hold their daddy's hand.  They all have spent many a Sunday exploring every nook and cranny of their father's hands.  And not so surprisingly, they are drawn to working hands.  Just the other day, Maid Elizabeth told me that she loves the hands of a working man.  One of the first things she sees when she meets a man is his hands.  Are they like her daddy's?  Are they strong?  Can they protect and provide?  Do they speak of love when the lips are silent? She is drawn, as was my mother, as was I, to a mans hands.

My son's hands are strong.  He has an iron grip.  They are calloused and scarred. They are the hands of a provider and protector.  They are the hands of a man.  And so the next generation rises to take his place among the men.  I believe that my son, just like my husband, will have my father's hands.


  1. This brought tears to my eyes ... beautiful, exquisite, precious.

  2. I have always felt this way myself! I have never forgotten when I was a kid & we were selling our house a pontential realtor came into my room while my brother & I were playing, he shook my hand and honestly, it felt squishy. It was the grossest thing ever! Needless to say, my parents didn't hire him. I also love that old country song "Daddy's Hands".
    Kristy in KY

  3. This was a beautiful post! Thank you for sharing! ;) --Sara

  4. My grown daughter has repeated the exact words of this post in our many years together. Obviously it makes a great difference in my motivation as I serve her in varied ways. Compare to one who would say if you love me you will buy me gifts and discounts the work of my hands as love. Think of my motivation as I would serve her.
    Daughter looks at the hands of potential suitors. She has not yet found the right hands. Hands speak love as no other way can.

  5. Oh my heart.

    My Dad is dying. This will be his last Christmas.

    It is his hands I have watched as his disease has been pulling him away. His hands taught me many things, including obedience. His hands have always been powerfully large, with dry, cracked skin and the ever present "ding". Now his hands are thin and the skin softer and wrinkled.

    He holds my arm when he walks and the calluses are gone. He is weak, but there is a ghost of his previous strength that keeps him going through illness which would have taken a lesser man long ago.

    I apologize if this is an inappropriate comment, but this grieving process is as confusing as it is devastating.

  6. Agreed, Kris. I can sympathize, as I work with the dying. I see the process and the loss, and it is truly a sad thing. I grieve but my grief is milder as I haven't known them my whole life. I only know them for a relatively short time, generally in their weakness. I wish I could convey the deepness of my thoughts and compassion towards you and your dad as you walk this road together. Sometimes that is all there is to do - walk the road, make the time remaining as best as possible, and serve. And laugh together where possible. This is not the end for us - we will see them again in all glory and strength in the presence of our great King, where there will be no more tears or sorrow, only gladness.

  7. Enola, beautifully expressed and so true.

    Kris, so sorry about your dad.

    NoCal Gal

  8. Soft hands means a life of non working! In the society now yes this is acceptable to many women, but with how our world is changing we need hard working hands of a strong man! I am so glad my husbands hands are the working type, that is why I married him, well one of the reasons! LOVE STRONG WORKING HANDS!

  9. Enola,

    What a precious post, thank you. I smiled as you talked about exploring your father's hands on Sundays. My mother always sang in the choir and I would curl up next to my Daddy in the pew and play with his hands, tracing the lines. He's gone home now and with each passing year the pain of his absence is replaced with sweet memories like this one. Thanks again.


  10. I'm a 42 year old Mississippi man named Jeffrey who has been reading this blog for a long time. I have enjoyed every entry. And this particular entry made this grown man cry with hope.

  11. Kris;

    My heart is full for you. You and your father have been on my mind many times over the last few days. I have woken up more than once with a prayer in my heart for you. I pray that God gives you and your mother strength, but more than anything, I pray that God opens your daddy's eyes to see and ears to hear. I pray that God calls his name.

    In His Service,


  12. Jeffrey;

    God is the great giver of hope! I can't tell you how humbled I am that the little things I write about have been an encouragement. Be of good cheer - our world is hungry for real men!