Praise the Work of My Hands


Hands: Agnes, haven’t you gone overboard in this? Hands are hands, doing what hands are made for … cooking, eating with, sewing, knitting, troweling, planting, bathing, dressing, and combing, washing dishes, bread baking, and whatever else you find for us to do.

Agnes: Yes, all those things and more, but what I’m thinking about are all those things which you do for me that take an extra effort on your part. I know that especially as I become older you are expected to push yourselves to the limit. Apologies are offered for asking you to fulfil energy-demanding jobs such as pulling me up a flight of stairs or heaving my body out of a chair.

Hands: Granted, they do take some wear and tear; these hands have been around and in use now for, should I say it … 86 years, sorry, but it is true. We aren’t as young as we used to be. But we’ve never let you down yet, have we? Speaking of letting us down, there was a time when we were let down very abruptly. That happened in the old carport and those silly old legs let us crash to the cement and that hard working left hand received a broken wrist. There we were in a heap. You somehow shuffled us along the floor to honk the horn until the neighbours came to our rescue. Left elbow had to take over my job for a while.


Agnes: Yes, that was a nasty happening. And that was after Rob was no longer with us. He was ever helpful in a time of need, wasn’t he? Do you remember how he was always offering his hands to assist family and neighbours? He had loving hands, practical and strong.

Hands: Remember how he offered me his belt to give you an assist up a hill?

He’d say, “Just hold on,” and the climb would be made easier. His hands were great in the garden. At his say they tilled, planted, weeded, watered, pruned … you name it, they knew what to do.

Agnes: You really should take a bow for all the difficult tasks done for me, like pulling me up a flight of stairs. Once, at school, I made a comment that made my teacher burst out laughing. I told him I thought I was allergic to stairs. Well, what I meant was that I just don’t like them, particularly without a railing for you to hang on to and pull me up or help me down.

Hands: Always willing to assist, Agnes. However, we do notice that over the last few years, getting you out of a chair takes more energy. It takes a great heave now but I remember that when you used to fall down we would have you up in a jiffy … now we have a struggle and have to rely on your ingenuity to find the easiest method to get you upright again. But so far we manage. But, Agnes, let’s not talk about praise. That just embarrasses us. We have a job to do and do it to our best ability … we learned that from you, remember.  

Agnes: Okay, but I just wanted you to know how much I appreciate all that you do for me. Truly it would have been a difficult job without you two. I just wanted you to realize how much I rely on you. But believe it or not, there are greater hands that I rely on as well and they are depicted in the song that starts out like this:

“Put your hand in the hand
of the man who stilled the waters.
Put your hand in the hand
of the man who calmed the sea.
Take a look at yourself and
you can look at others differently.
By putting your hand in the hand
of the man from Galilee.”