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What Hand Have You Been Dealt?

(ROCKWALL, TX — January 28, 2019) Spending time this week with friends who are ill reminded me of what can be done with these hands.  Most of the things I do with my hands are mindless…making my bed (Mother made me make my bed before I left my room.  I’m 71 years old and I still make my bed before I leave my room!), pouring a cup of tea, slicing an orange, loaded the washing machine…all mindless things that accomplish purposes, but don’t require much thought.

I’m also a toucher.  Not touchy/feely, but a toucher.  I like to hold on to you while I talk to you.  I like to hold hands as I walk with my husband.  I like to hold hands when we pray.  I like to minister with my hands.  Emotions pour from my heart to my hands.

I express love by what my hands find to do.

For years I’ve made a habit of praying for the person whose clothes I’m folding.  Preparing a meal with these hands to share with someone who is too ill to stand and cook, expresses my love for them.  Using my hands to file & paint fingernails to our residents, expresses how much I love them.  It’s not so much what my hands find to do.  It’s how they follow the thoughts and intents of my heart that gives them value.

Hands can be withheld.  Yes, they spread germs.  But studies show us that lonely, isolated people have a greater tendency toward illness.  Newborns who are not held & caressed do not thrive.  Not communicating by using your hands speaks loudly about the condition of your heart.  Closed hands reveal hardened hearts…hands that for some reason express a heart that has been hurt and not healed.  These folks need someone who is willing to reach out to them with a tender heart and a listening ear, perhaps not physically touching them (as they may be offended with the familiarity of that), but a tender heart that has eyes that are trained to observe the pain resulting in a closed fist.

That’s what chaplains do.  The Broadmoor Chaplains are reading this right now.  It is a reminder to them that their hands reveal the Presence of Christ.  A word may or may not be spoken, but a hand is willing to reach out to encourage, to comfort, to care.

Please be advised today, be aware today of how valuable your hands are; how they can be used to communicate volumes even in silence.  Hands don’t have the literal ability to hear or to speak, but they communicate.  Extend, touch, prepare, offer, wave, feed, stir, fold.  Use your hands to express your heart.

That’s a good word.

By Paula Lively. Paula is a Volunteer Chaplain at Broadmoor Medical Lodge in Rockwall. She is a VERY retired RN who loves serving the residents at Broadmoor. She and her husband, Fred, have lived in Rockwall for 15 years.

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