Yesterday I looked up my contribution to Grandpa's Hands book and I would like to share it here. I'm sure many of you have your own memories of Grandpa's hands. These are a few of mine.
That big, hard finger that was caught in the corn shucker sure kept me quiet during church. I can still remember sitting in the old Barberton church next to you one Sunday night during singing. I was probably only about 3 or 4 years old. I don’t know what I was doing (most likely playing around or not sitting still), but all of a sudden I felt the WHACK! on my head! That disciplinary finger of yours made contact with the top of my head and I settled down immediately! I learned to have great respect for that finger of yours!
I have a memory of sitting at your kitchen table after finishing a meal and seeing you with your elbows propped on the table and your fingertips tapping each other as you were telling us stories. I don’t know why that memory has stayed so many years, but even now, you will sit the same way at the end of a meal as you enjoy visiting with whoever might happen to be there sharing your meal with you, or leaning on your hands looking out the window at your flowers and trees.
Your hands are always lifting your hat and brushing your forehead of the sweat of your labors. Your hands work long and hard, yet they also give you relief as you lift your hat and refresh your head. This is also a memory that will always remain with me.
Your hands have also felt pain. I remember when you cut your hand and saw something sticking out of the cut, so you took some scissors and cut that thing off! You found out very quickly that “that thing” was a nerve! Only you would try to “fix” your hand like that by yourself!
Your hands also taught me how to pull weeds around pepper plants, how to pick plums off of a tree, how to carefully pick up chestnut burrs and put them in a pile. Your hands taught me how to push dirt around a new plant, how to tenderly hold a heavy vine full of grapes, how to take a rock out of the garden and throw it with all your might into the trees. Your hands have shown me how to love the ground that God has given to us to enjoy gardening.
I see you put your hands on someone’s back as you lean close to them to listen or to speak with them. The human touch that you give when you counsel someone tells them that you are really listening and that you care enough about them to touch them with your solid hands.
Your hands are the ones that held mine as you lowered me into the baptismal in East Akron in June of 1983. The picture of your hands holding mine is as clear as day because that was such a monumental day in my life. Your hands are the ones that rested on my head that afternoon as you prayed for me, that I would be sealed with the Holy Spirit and that I would grow in the Lord. Your hands had a part in blessing me that day.
Grandpa, I’m sure that your hands have been clasped together many times praying for my mom, for my parents and for myself. Thank you for praying for your future generations and for using your hands to teach us so many things. May God continue to bless your hands because you use them for Him!