No. 986



Most people have heard the saying, “You don’t miss the water until the well is dry.” This simply means that we don’t really miss something of great value, until it’s gone. Here I am reminded of the ravages of war and seeing our young men, and women in rare cases, come back home with one or maybe both arms missing, and occasionally their legs as well. These thoughts were prompted by something a friend sent me the other day titled, “Grandpa’s Hands.” Have you ever really looked at your hands and thought, “How would I get along without them, either one hand or both? What would life be like for me?”
To bring some perspective to these haunting thoughts, please allow me to share this article with you because I believe it will give you, as it has me, a greater appreciation for my own hands that I take for granted most of the time. The stage is set by a conversation between a 90-year-old Grandpa, and his 20-year-old grandson. It begins with Grandpa saying: “‘Have you ever looked at your hands? I mean really looked at them?’ I slowly opened my hands and stared down at them. I turned them over, palms up and then palms down. ‘No, I guess I have never really looked at my hands,’ as I tried to figure out the point he was making.
“Grandpa 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 (referring to his own trough, wrinkled, shriveled, and weak ones) have been the best tools I have used all my life to reach out and grab and embrace life. 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 have been dirty, scraped, 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 trembled and shook when I buried my parents and spouse and walked my daughter down the aisle. They have covered my face, combed my hair, and washed and cleansed the rest of my body. And to this day, when not much of anything else of me works real well, these hands hold me up, continue to fold in prayer. These hands are the mark of where I have been and the ruggedness of my 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 up to His side and there I will use these hands to touch the face of Jesus.’ And then the grandson reflects on the conversation and says, ‘I will never look at my hands the same again. But I remember God reached out and took my Grandpa’s hands and led him home. When my hands are hurt or sore I think of Grandpa. I know he 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’.”
From a practical standpoint, we know that the person who has a positive attitude, is willing to work hard, has worthy goals and learns to communicate effectively has a far greater chance to succeed in life than the person who does not have these things. But how about the things we were given, by virtue of birth, that we take for granted and seldom think about? If we are blessed by having a healthy body, attractive appearance, and born as a citizen of the greatest nation in the world, be very grateful. Attitude is really gratitude.
(EDITOR'S NOTE: Jim Davidson is a public speaker and syndicated columnist. You may contact him at 2 Bentley Drive, Conway, AR 72034. To begin a bookcase literacy project visit You won’t go wrong helping a needy child.)