“Your hands are so pretty. They’re so soft, and small, and white”, she said as she touched my hands, then my ring, then my fingers. “Mine are rough, and big. Dark”.
I looked at her hands, then mine, then hers again. Her beautiful olive skin held tones of sun and culture, a color that ran deep in the blood of her fathers.
And I thought of what I knew about her, this woman who’d become my friend. Who’d become my sister.
Because I knew that her hands, they served others ever since they became His.
Those hands, they symbolized the scorching heat of gathering ripened harvest in the fields during the summer months, waking up before the sun to sweep the yard and tidy the house, and cook delicious, homemade meals three times a day for brothers and sisters and moms and dads, for family and those who became family, over and over and over again.
They’re bringing up three precious children, feeding and washing and loving them to the moon and back. They did piles of dirty laundry for years, without washing machines or Tide. They cared for her husband, holding him up when times got tough, and encouraging and respecting him as he fervently served the Lord Jesus amidst threats and taunts and hate from his own family; family that called him a traitor as they continued Friday visits to the mosque yet drowned themselves in alcohol on Saturdays.
Those hands, they cleaned up broken women who were abused by the men in their lives; husbands and brothers and fathers. Women who thought they had no way out until Jesus touched them through those hands.
They welcomed strangers and washed their clothes and gave them rest. They fed poor, hungry mouths and scrubbed the dirt off shoes and souls.
They did so much, and will do even more, because they’re open and they’re willing and they’re strong.
And I looked at them, and they were beautiful. Olive-toned and big and worn.
Beautifully dark and tough.
Because in essence, that’s all that matters.