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GRANDMA’S HANDS

Grandma, some ninety plus years, sat feebly on the patio bench. She didn’t move, just sat with her head down staring at her hands.

When I sat down beside her she didn’t acknowledge my presence and the longer I sat I wondered if she was OK

Finally, not really wanting to disturb her but wanting to check on her at the same time, I asked her if she was OK. She raised her head and looked at me and smiled. “Yes, I’m fine, thank you for asking,” she said in a clear voice strong.

“I didn’t mean to disturb you, grandma, but you were just sitting here staring at your hands and I wanted to make sure you were OK.”? I explained to her.

“Have you ever looked at your hands,” she asked. “I mean really looked at your hands”?

I slowly opened my hands and stared down at them. I turned them over, palms up and then palms down. No, I guess I had never really looked at my hands as I tried to figure out the point she was making.

Grandma smiled and related this story:

“Stop and think for a moment about the hands you have, how they have served you well throughout your years. These hands, though wrinkled shriveled and weak have been the tools I have used all my life to reach out and grab and embrace life.”

“They braced and caught my fall when as a toddler I crashed upon the floor.”

“They put food in my mouth and clothes on my back. As a child, my mother taught me to fold them in prayer. They tied my shoes and pulled on my boots. They held my husband and wiped my tears when he went off to war.”

“They have been dirty, scraped and raw, swollen and bent. They were uneasy and clumsy when I tried to hold my newborn son. Decorated with my wedding band they showed the world that I was married and loved someone special.”

“They wrote my letters to him and trembled and shook when I buried my parents and spouse.”

“They have held my children and grandchildren, consoled neighbors, and shook in fists of anger when I didn’t understand.”

“They have covered my face, combed my hair, and washed and cleansed the rest of my body. They have been sticky and wet, bent and broken, dried and raw. And to this day when not much of anything else of me works real well these hands hold me up, lay me down, and again continue to fold in prayer.”

“These hands are the mark of where I’ve been and the ruggedness of life.”

“But more importantly it will be these hands that God will reach out and take when he leads me home. And with my hands He will lift me to His side and there I will use these hands to touch the face of Christ.”

I will never look at my hands the same again. But I remember God reached out and took my grandma’s hands and led her home.

When my hands are hurt or sore or when I stroke the face of my children and husband I think of grandma. I know she has been stroked and caressed and held by the hands of God.

I, too, want to touch the face of God and feel His hands upon my face.

Understand That Things Happen For a Reason


The brand new pastor and his wife, newly assigned to their first ministry, to reopen a church in suburban Brooklyn , arrived in early October excited about their opportunities. When they saw their church, it was very run down and needed much work. They set a goal to have everything done in time to have their first service on Christmas Eve.

They worked hard, repairing pews, plastering walls,painting, etc, and on December 18 were ahead of schedule and just about finished.

On December 19 a terrible tempest – a driving rainstorm hit the area and lasted for two days.

On the 21st, the pastor went over to the church.His heart sank when he saw that the roof had leaked, causing a large area of plaster about
20 feet by 8 feet to fall off the front wall of the sanctuary just behind the pulpit, beginning about head high.

The pastor cleaned up the mess on the floor, and not knowing what else to do but postpone the Christmas Eve service, headed home. On the way he noticed that a local business was
having a flea market type sale for charity, so he stopped in. One of the items was a beautiful, handmade, ivory colored, crocheted tablecloth
with exquisite work, fine colors and a Cross embroidered right in the center. It was just the right size to cover the hole in the front wall. He bought it and headed back to the church.

By this time it had started to snow. An older woman running from the opposite direction was trying to catch the bus. She missed it. The pastor
invited her to wait in the warm church for the next bus 45 minutes later.

She sat in a pew and paid no attention to the pastor while he got a ladder, hangers, etc., to put
up the tablecloth as a wall tapestry. The pastor could hardly believe how beautiful it looked and it covered up the entire problem area.

Then he noticed the woman walking down the center aisle. Her face was like a sheet. “Pastor,” she asked, “where did you get that tablecloth?” The pastor explained. The woman asked him to check
the lower right corner to see if the initials, EBG were crocheted into
it there. They were. These were the initials of the woman, and she had
made this tablecloth 35 years before, in Austria .

The woman could hardly believe it as the pastor told how he had just gotten “The Tablecloth”. The
woman explained that before the war she and her husband were well-to-do people in Austria .

When the Nazis came, she was forced to leave. Her husband was going to follow her the next week. He was captured, sent to prison and never saw her husband or her home again.

The pastor wanted to give her the tablecloth;but she made the pastor keep it for the church.The pastor insisted on driving her home. That
was the least he could do. She lived on the other side of Staten Island and was only in Brooklyn for the day for a housecleaning job.

What a wonderful service they had on Christmas Eve. The church was almost full. The music and the
spirit were great. At the end of the service, the pastor and his wife greeted everyone at the door
and many said that they would return.

One older man, whom the pastor recognized from the neighborhood continued to sit in one of the
pews and stare, and the pastor wondered why he wasn’t leaving.

The man asked him where he got the tablecloth on the front wall because it was identical to one that his wife had made years ago when they lived in Austria before the war and how
could there be two tablecloths so much alike?

He told the pastor how the Nazis came, how he forced his wife to flee for her safety and he was supposed to follow her, but he was arrested and
put in a prison. He never saw his wife or his home again all the 35 years between.

The pastor asked him if he would allow him to take him for a little ride. They drove to Staten Island and to the same house where the pastor
had taken the woman three days earlier.

He helped the man climb the three flights of stairs to the woman’s apartment, knocked on the door and he saw the greatest Christmas
reunion he could ever imagine.

True Story – submitted by Pastor Rob Reid who says God does work in mysterious ways.I asked the Lord to bless you as I prayed for you today, to guide you and protect you as you go along your way. His love is always with you. His promises are true, and when we give Him all our cares we know He will see us through.

So when the road you’re traveling seems difficult at best, just remember I’m here praying and God will do the rest. Pass this on to those you want God to bless.

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