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The Strongest Hands I’ve Known

They were once the strongest hands I have ever known. They held the weight of my secrets and even the secrets of our family tree. They cooked dinners, lunches, and breakfast for families of double digits. They rocked babies, which did not even belong to them.

The strongest hands, I have ever known, are battling with shakiness these days. They are battling to remember where they stored secrets, like mine, for safekeeping. Those hands are having a hard time remembering whether it is dinnertime or breakfast. And those hands are not even stable enough to rock its owner to sleep at night.

Please don’t tell my 3rd-grade teacher that those hands once did my homework. They walked me to the bus stop every day, and those hands were the first to hi-five my daily accomplishments when the bus returned me to my grandmother. She once owned the strongest hands I have ever held. But these days those hands are looking for hope in mine. So I hold them when we pray in the morning. I ask God to remove the anxiety from her heart because her nervousness transmits in the way that she taps my hand while I hold hers, in prayer. Those hands are looking for truths and healing. Those hands are looking to touch the garments of Jesus. They are looking for answers to aging.

For as long as I can remember, my grandmother has been the hand in my life that has covered the void of an absent father. She has always been two steps ahead of me, and one step behind. I never understood how one person could always be right where you need them. My grandmother is the first place that I learned covering. When we pray, I wonder if she can feel my hands trying to cover hers in the way that she has always covered me.

When we pray I give her a scripture that I have handwritten for her that day. I forgot to pray with her on Sunday. It was Easter and I was rushing to service. On Monday when we held hands, I glanced down at her nightstand. There was a scripture. Those hands, even shaking, she used them to write the one thing that she knows as true: The Word of God!

16 For God so loved the world, that he gave his only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in him should not perish, but have everlasting life. – John 3:16 KJV

And it was there, at that moment, that I remembered that even when things don’t seem steady that God’s word would prevail. That, even when life is shaky, there is a covering in the hand of God. And when we prayed, on Monday, I felt covered in the hands of my grandmother. And all of sudden, those hands felt like the strongest hands I had ever known, again!

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