Friday, July 28, 2006
Let’s talk about hands.
I am quite self-conscience about my hands. I don’t like ‘em.
I would like to have long tapered fingers and pretty oval nails that gently curve at the tips.
Instead I have largish man hands (Seinfeld Alert!). Stubby ugly fingers.
I have pretty good luck at growing my nails. I actually refused to keep my nails trimmed back in the days of piano lessons because I was even more unhappy with my hands when I didn’t have a pretty manicure. My teacher warned me that I wouldn’t be able to play as well, it was a sacrifice I was willing to make.
I went to nursing school where they insist on no polish and short nails. Ugh, one of my worst fears. But nursing school instructors are not as reasonable as piano teachers so I trimmed my nails and went sans polish. It made me crazier than you know.
By the time those two years in school had passed I had grown to kind of like not having to do my nails a few times a week. It was a little bit liberating to go natural, no worries about broken nails.
And sure enough, it was easier to do a variety of tasks with my new working-girl nurse hands.
Today I rarely grow out my nails and wear polish. It’s just an inconvenience. It’s easier to do my job this way and a lot less maintenance.
Of course, now my hands are presenting even bigger issues to my self-image. My hands are aging. They are dry and not as smooth as they used to be. My cuticles are a mess from constant hand washing in hospital soap.
I don’t think of my hands as all that large any more. My son put his hand up to mine and mine fit in his palm. It’s a matter of perspective I guess.
I used to hate my hands because of how they looked. Now I like my hands because of what they do.
They change dressings and give medication and pat the backs of crying people.
They smooth back hair and take physicians’ orders and write reports.
My hands type blogs and e mails.
My fingers run through my boys’ too long hair and cup their faces when I kiss them good night.
I look at my hand wrapped in my husband’s and it looks very pretty.
My hands can hold yours when you’re worried or afraid. My hands can write you a note when you’re sad. They can take your picture to capture our lives together.
My hands are older and my nails are not manicured.
But my hands have found something to do besides trying to look beautiful.
My hands fit just so at the back of my husband’s neck when he holds me and announce my love with my weddng band.
Without my permission they reach up to heaven when I worship.
My hands have grown up.
And they have become...beautiful.
Psalm 24:3-5 (New International Version)
3 Who may ascend the hill of the LORD ? Who may stand in his holy place? 4 He who has clean hands and a pure heart, who does not lift up his soul to an idol or swear by what is false. 5 He will receive blessing from the LORD and vindication from God his Savior.