This poem is dedicated to my grandfather, Pop, who is one of my biggest inspirations.

Hands - for Pop

You were just a little baby and the first thing your hands grasped, were your mother’s warm strong fingers as she held you to her chest. 

You grew and they became stronger as you’d pull yourself to your feet, and would bound across the room in what seemed a flying leap. 

You’d run and you’d play outside, picking up sticks, bugs, and rocks. Your hands had met so many things in just your short life. 

The burden of labor would show in those hands, so calloused and scarred. Day in and day out they picked and plowed ‘til they felt they’d work no more. 

Those same hands would hold God’s precious Word as the seeds were planted in your heart. They’d fold to pray when by yourself and for those held close to your heart. 

Your hands would later hold the hands to the love of your life. And you’d hold your children in those hands and you’d been held before. 

To your wife, those hands were comfort and strength. To your girls, they meant playtime and a safe place. 

Your hands were direct and pointed when you’d preach the Word of God. Then were lifted in surrender as you would praise Him for what He’s done. 

Your hands gave away in marriage your three girls to the ones they loved. And embraced each grandbaby into a world so dark and cold. 

And as I study your hands now so weathered and old, I think of all these things and what these hands have been to me. 

They’ve been playtime when I was little; guidance as I grew up. Strength through the many seasons, and guidance when I needed it most. 

I’ve seen them raised in worship; seen them brought low in defeat, but in each and every moment, those hands have always been there for me.

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