“…Make it your goal to live a quiet life, minding your own business and working with your hands…” – 1 Thes.4:11
The work we can do with our hands, in one single day, amazes me. Writing, washing, wiping, rubbing, painting, gardening, picking, building, playing, eating, tickling, etc. … our hands never stop. How we can use our hands to hold the most valuable things in life – like my 9 month old baby – or use our hands to do the grubbiest of work – like pulling prickly thorns out of the garden.
The only other part of our body that takes in varieties of flavors within a day are our eyes. In a funny, metaphoric-kind of way, our hands are like eyes. “Seeing” the details of the everyday by the pads of our fingertips. We take photographs with our eyes and store memories from what we see yet when I take a sliver out of my boys’ hands, chop quarts upon quarts of cherries to freeze, push a shopping cart, write a cheque, cup another small hand in my own … none of those things go down as monumental or banked into my mind as memory but merely, an action.
Taking these few photos was like accepting a challenge. A challenge to make more of what and how my hands shape my day. Like my eyes, I can guard and decide how they are going to be used – for the most part. It’s easier to realize I can see the beauty of what my eyes behold more than the actions my hands make in a day. Sometimes what my hands do, feel more like a completion of a habit (like the french coming out in me – talking with my hands, or the simplest gesture of kneading dough) than the work of love.
By being intentional with the moments my hands can be used, life does tend to slow down. Little things like swaddling Israel or pushing the hair out of Hunter’s face or pulling Judah in for a hug … little things like that speak love. Not just to them or me, but to others. Taking pride in the work I do (no matter how menial or important) … taking pride in the work my hands do, slows things down. Exhibits love. Teaches me new things.
pic pix: some HAND picked pictures from the day, Aug.2016, at home