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My Father’s Hands

The hands, our hands, graphically denote and describe our attitudes, our feelings, and our likes and dislikes.

There are helping hands, hands that reach out to those who have a deep need that perhaps only you or I are able to fulfill. This could be a friend or a complete stranger.

There are clenched fists, hands that have become the symbol of the world today.

There are uplifted hands that reach toward heaven crying out for help from God.

Then there were the hands of my father. He wasn't a large man, but he labored, and labored hard, for many years. He had hands that were thin, somewhat gnarled, rough, but yet strong. My father believed in the theory of "spare the rod and spoil the child!" If the width of his hands were not sufficient to make the proper impression in the most strategic place, there was always the razor strap or some other form of what I thought was inhumane punishment.

As a father, I thought he was a strict disciplinarian. I thought he was harsh and unfair at times. But when he punished me, I can look back now and see the conflict going on in his eyes as he dealt out what he thought was the appropriate sentence. In later years when I became a father, I knew how he felt.

My father wasn't trained in child psychology, and he probably didn't understand the concept. We were taught that right was right and wrong was wrong, and never the two should meet!  At the time I believed my father to be uneducated about how I looked at certain things and what was best for me and my life. But, now, as I look back, could it be that all the time he knew a little more about life (and in particular, my life) than I gave him credit for? My father has been dead now for twenty years. I believe he now knows how important I think he was to my life. And about those hands — The led.....they guided.....they punished.....they loved!  And when in death they were crossed over his body, they sure had accomplished a lot in this life! Especially for me!

For His Cause,
Tim Woodward