A Father’s Hands
Perhaps one of the most wonderful of all gifts from God is the human hand. When it belongs to a loving father or grandfather, its imprint lasts a lifetime.
The young girl sat on the front steps outside her small house trying to hold back the tears. Her heart was broken because a friend had chosen to go to a movie instead of coming to her party. The pain of rejection was overwhelming.
As she sat there, miserable and feeling so alone, she felt something softly stroking her hair. She turned to find her father bending over her, a look of tenderness on his familiar face, his arm outstretched, silently comforting her with the touch of his hand.
She loved that hand. It was rather square and the nail on one finger sported a permanent split, a run-in with a saw, he had told her. But it was strong; and it could administer correction as well as comfort.
I know, because that hand belonged to my father.
A marvelous wonder
The precision of the human hand allows fathers and grandfathers to do all the things they are known to do. My father’s hand was an absolute marvel—it had to be, because it was modeled exactly after his Father’s hand (Genesis 1:27). Not just his biological father—but the Father of all mankind: God. God the Father, through Jesus Christ, formed (or molded and designed) the first man Adam. He equipped Adam with two amazingly capable and flexible hands; then He told him to use them to tend the Garden of Eden.
The hand God designed consists, in part, of 29 bones and 29 major joints. It contains 34 muscles that move the fingers and the thumb (causing them to work together or in opposition) and 30 named arteries. Its actions are dictated by directives from the brain.
Each finger has a unique set of swirls (fingerprints) over the sensitive nerve endings that allow us to experience different textures by feel—the smoothness of glass, the fineness of a single hair or the coarseness of a father’s beard.
Skin plays an important part in the function of the hand, allowing it to grip and handle various types of objects. Beneath the skin of the palm there are fat globules similar in consistency to a tapioca pudding. These relax or congeal (to form a sort of protective cushion) according to the amount of pressure exerted by the hand.
Getting a grip
These biological details allow fathers to do what they do with their hands.
My dad’s hands could crush hard clods of clay into dirt in his garden, pinch and remove a splinter from my foot and support my little sister as she learned to walk. He could grasp a hoe handle and draw water from the cistern. He had no problem picking up his favorite book or guiding his pen across paper to form his very distinctive script.
Whatever he thought, his hands would do.
The precision of the human hand allows fathers and grandfathers to do what they are known to do...
Like cradling a newborn son …
Or balancing a daughter in the palm of his hand.
My dad could lift me up and hold me securely on his knee while we waited for the milkman.
A father can hold a squirt gun, aim with perfect accuracy and laugh at the squeals of delight from his young daughters as they get him back.
Fathers teach sons how to work with their hands.
Grandfathers teach their grandchildren how to plant things …
And build things …
Tie a shoe …
And so much more.
This Father’s Day
This Father’s Day I intend to celebrate the awesome gift of a loving father’s hand—impressionable in my own life and the lives of my children and grandchildren. And I will rest assured that I am securely under the care of our Heavenly Father’s hand.
“My sheep hear My voice, and I know them, and they follow Me. And I give them eternal life, and they shall never perish; neither shall anyone snatch them out of My hand. My Father, who has given them to Me, is greater than all; and no one is able to snatch them out of My Father’s hand. I and My Father are one” (John 10:27-30).
Photos courtesy of Karen Meeker, Michelle Brunick, Debbie Gilstrap, Jo Anna Buckwalter and Rhonda Waddle