By the Work of the Hands

The hands are already dry.

Dry, wrinkled, cracked,  and in some areas, there within where the skin meets the nail or on top of the knuckles, cracks are deep enough to bleed 

It happens every year, when winter knocks on the door and gloves are lost and the time to buy new ones never arrives.

I bandage them up tight. Those cumbersome burning pains that bring gasps from the mouth, lasts for a few days and they heal and it starts all over again. 

Gone are the youthful hands.

I hear the words "you need to put lotion on those hand," more often than enough and I do but when there's trash to be picked up, toilet seats to wipe down, raw meat to cook, floors to be mopped, crafts to be done (which dry fingers stick to and tear more) to go along with the outdoor howlings of harsh winds and stinging low temperatures, these hands take it pretty rough. 

And lets face it there not at the top of my "things to take care of "seasonal list even though the cart gets pushed down the aisle and the eye sees the lotion along with the price tag and I push on by to rummage through items to stuff in little red, sequined, homemade stockings that reach the smiles to the ears of young ones.

Hands sense. 

What would it be like for the hands not to feel? Not to be worn dry? To never be able to feel? To fathom the emptiness of fingers on top of keys, of hands soaked in the warmth of waters, to not feel the cheek of your child, or a husbands hand, or feel the petals of a bouquet, or the coldness of snow, or the pulse of a beating heart, or the touch of a tear, or pen, or paper?

Hands feel and tell a tale of years gone, its kind of how were known. 

We've held and touched and healed and played and crafted and drawn and worked and splintered and cooked and cleaned and inked and turned pages and held hands and babies and loved ones and they become worn and wrinkled and pained and they hold memories of past regrets but more than anything, they are a miracle of our work.

By the works of our hands we are known.

I watch as the carpenter lowers his saw blade through a thick cut of wood as splinters and small specks of wood flood around his uncovered eyes. 

He cuts and saws and sculpts sometimes into the early morning hours of the day for I can hear the sound of the saw blade as it slices through each wooden piece as I lay in bed.

Come Christmas morning, he's hoping to have wrapped something his sons will love and laugh over under the pine tree.

Sometimes it something grand he constructs, yet sometimes its something so small yet precious that rests in his massive hands but usually its something that's never seen except by four pairs of eager eyes.

And that's okay if the work of our hands is only seen by the one who uses His hands to count hairs, weigh oceans, stop storms, heal sufferings, breath resurrection, to Save the World. 

For its His hands in the end we will hold and only His.

And hands are folded and raised all worn and cracked and splintered and tired towards His presence in worship and thanks, for by the works of our hands we are known. 

So, raise worn hands that are tired from the everyday demands of existence and Sense the feeling they bring of life's miraculous maker in you.

And give thanks even though sometimes we rather not and its hard but because He is worthy of it all and the hands tell the tale.

{" May the favor of the Lord our God rest upon us, establish the work of our hands for us-yes, establish the work of our hands."} Psalm 90:17     

Knowing in Whom You Have Believed

November flings its door open in a show of cold and color and speaks the creators amazing beauty.

There's a chill in the air, a hop in the tired step, and a hope in the heart that longs to draw near to a certain, calling peace. 

A peace that the season slowly but hurriedly inches closer to that rings joy and good tidings, but for now pumpkin seeds and spiced coffee and bags of candy that spark buds and leaves that crackle and logs that burn from a nearby pit, it all blows homeward.

It's here again and yes, it fills just like it came and went only days ago. 

Each year after year, each windy, blustery, leaf fallen season that passes and reappears my mouth slowly closes more and more in its rushness to complain and as I said before I can out wail a dog~head bowed down shamefully~ but to soak quietly in what is before me, simple goodness.

It was the day of should we or shouldn't we and deeper hidden meanings and what ifs and not rights but I've always believed this verse of truth in my mind after years of hearing the carpenter speak it, "to the pure all things are pure." 

Its a drop in a bucket of something tiny and sweet and it brings wide eyes and big grins and its blessed for the church opens its doors for a night where games and worship fill buckets full of treats and happy hearts. 

And yes it can lurk there in the dark, its dweller, and its real and we watch and shield but we sigh and breath for "to the pure all things are pure" and He holds these tiny hands for they are His.  

It passes by and November stands wide open another month but this one of thanks.

It doesn't come easy to all, especially myself, for it depends on the place of the thanks, and how much the eyes choose to really see.

Its hard to give thanks when you feel life is empty and barren and when you look around at all to be seen and it never seems to filter through your door.  

Wait and wonder because theres never certainty with emptiness for full lurks near but empty creeps closer to swallow. 

Its hard to give thanks when you see an empty plate but an empty plate means a full soul for the plate can't be taken up nor can emptiness devour the spirit that connects with His. 

You have to speak it or the empty wins, speak thanksgiving because it brings gratefulness to the soul and hope to the heart. 

Without hope there's no salvation song at the end of the day and if hope can't be seen or felt or believed the heart can't thank

Giving thanks brings the spirit of gratefulness and its not your plate or mine I see in the end but His. 

When the mind wanders from the self to the creator we praise thanks, we praise hearts that beat, and little hands to hold, and wrinkled faces to gaze, and we remember that better His courts of thanksgiving than an earthly door that never seems to open. 

For only one door really matters, one gate. 

First, foremost, at the top of the to do list, before the feet touch the ground in the early morning hours~ to give thanks is to know in whom I have believed in. 

Before thanks can be given, genuine, adored thanks that cries to heaven and bends the legs to the bed, and clasps the hands in tearful joy, "to know in whom I have believed in."  

It comes from a reverent place where the heart meets His. Its a connection of souls and hearts and hopes for He willingly hopes for us and longs for us to be as He is and we can pick up the cross and follow and for this there is thanks~ know in whom you have believed.

How? Make Him the first yes, the first, trying this and sticking to it the first of everything, the first fruits of my harvest, of time and self offered to Him, to know in whom I give thanks and follow.

Yes, 1883 David Whittle, a man whom He believed.

~But I know Whom I have believed,
And am persuaded that He is able
to keep that which I've committed
Unto Him against that day.

I know now what of good or ill
May be reserved for me,
Of weary ways or golden days,
Before His face I see.

I know not when my Lord may come, 
At night or noonday fair,
Nor if I walk the vale with Him,
Or meet Him in the air.

But I know Whom I have believed,
And am persuaded that He is able
To keep that which I've committed
Unto Him against that day.