Finding one’s hands in silence

By Ferrell Foster

Sitting in silence outdoors this morning at the Waco Quaker gathering, I began to notice my hands. They are always there and have been for 66 years, but I really do not pay attention to them unless I hurt them.

As I looked at my hands, I thought of all they have done through the years.

— held girlfriends’ hands

Photo by Luis Quintero from Pexels

— put a wedding ring on my wife’s hand

— held my children and burped them

— changed their diapers and pushed their swings

— patted lots of people on the back

— thrown footballs, softballs, and basketballs

— caught footballs, softballs, and basketballs

— clapped for football players, musicians, and dancers

— gripped and reeled bass-fishing gear

So much, so much, so much.

But, it occurred to me this morning, what my hands have done more than anything is allow me to write the words that formed in my head. I have been paid to write since May 1977. Sometimes it was my main work, but always it was part of my work. 

But it wasn’t just my work. When I’m off work and rested, sooner or later I write.

When I’m writing I don’t think about my hands. I’m concentrating on the words in my head on the screen or paper. 

This morning I became more thankful for my hands. You can find ways to write without hands, people have and do, but hands make it so much easier. 

So, if I lose my hands tomorrow, someone or something will have to help me “write.” But at least I appreciated my hands before losing them. That’s what can happen when we get quiet with our thoughts and our surroundings; we see things and think thoughts that we otherwise would have missed.

And before any of these thoughts occurred to me, I had turned my thoughts to God — seeking to re-center my life on God and away from myself.


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