The shape of the hand

Ah, winter! The perfect time to curl up and watch some gardening shows, and dream of better gardens to come. While watching one of my favorites, I learned something new this week. Oh, I’m not good with horticultural terminology….yet. I may be vaguely familiar with the terms “Ovate,” “Palmate,” or “Lanceolate.” 

In this particular episode of “Gardener’s World,” Carol explained that the “Palmate” type of leaf has lobes similar to the fingers of a hand, or “palm.” It was a light bulb moment. Of course! 

Not all palmate leaves have five lobes, though. But I’ll never look at a lobed leaf without thinking of a hand. 

How often do we think of our hands, on the other hand? How often do we consider what is in them to do good for others, or for God? Oh, they are stuck there at the ends of our arms, working away all day every day. I often chuckle when I hear a prayer thanking God for food “and the hands that prepared it.” Sometimes I wish the prayer was for my aching back, not so much for my hands!

It is true we often use the term “hands” to mean pretty much the whole person.  Even David used the reference to these appendages to embody the idea of sin. 

“O Lord my God, if I have done this: If there is iniquity in my hands” (Psalm 7:3, NKJV).

Good deeds, also, are said to be done with our hands. Not only that, but those hands shouldn’t make a big deal out of it! It should be so natural that one hand won’t even recognize what the other is doing. 

“But when you do a charitable deed, do not let your left hand know what your right hand is doing” (Matthew 6:3).

What else is in our hands? Let them be used for the glory of God! Our resources, our abilities, our talents; everything that God gives us can be used to better the lives of those around us, and to bring souls to heaven with us. 

We use our hands to bless our families, and to make that food our hands are so famous for, yes. We use them both literally and figuratively to bless and to benefit all those within our sphere of influence. As we wash our hands an extra 25 seconds, let us keep our spiritual hands clean and ready for service to our Maker. 

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