What Hands Can Do...
(This is a brief response entry to the third chapter of John Maxwell's new book, "Everyone Communicates - Few Connect." It sparked an amazing memory for me, and also a realization: I love hands. My dad had the best hands of all; my husband, as a piano player, has gorgeous hands; both of my kids, when I look at their hands (each very different), I'm reminded of their childhood, their stages of development, their likenesses to both of their parents. I also admire the hands of my best friend. It was the first thing that I noticed when I met her thirty years ago! So, I literally have surrounded myself with the beautiful hands of people I adore.)
I will never forget my dad's hands. He was a hardworking, blue collar worker who abused his hands daily - yet somehow maintaining them to be immaculately manicured, tan and perfect. This was a paradox of something both functional and inspirational to me as a child. The hands that fixed my bicycles, painted my bedroom avocado green (70's child!), fixed refrigeration units, and "pointed" me in the direction of extravagantly caring for others, were also the hands that liberally defined his soul. While I lay bruised and injured, sitting on a stretcher in an emergency room following a front end collision with my '73 Plymouth Duster, this seventeen year old was a complete wreck. A complete wreck - until I felt my dad's hand touch my shoulders. I knew immediately who it was without turning around. I felt his power, his sense of touch; a familiar calming and an instant connection that said, “It’s OK.”
In my years of speaking and (hopefully) communicating and connecting the gospel, whether by song, word or comedy, I've become very aware of how powerful the hands are in both giving and receiving the subtle delivery of facts, faith, truth, compassion, and overall coordination of heart and body. Definition says of "hands: " They are the chief organs for physically manipulating the environment." Both scary and true. They express the depth of one's innermost thoughts and emotions. It's usually a dead give away (to me) when a speaker’s hands try to manipulate something the heart is not saying.
It's no wonder that Jesus, knowing the power HE was, made it a point to touch and "connect beyond words." Lives were instantly healed and changed, simply by HIS touch.
So here I am, paying for a manicure and sitting in the chair with my freshly polished nails in a pretty metallic burgundy. I'll do all I can to make my hands look beautiful. But the truth is, they weren't made just for cosmetic purposes - there's a real passion here. I'm ready to rid myself of the "pretty hands gospel", and get down right dirty and calloused, until someone is moved and changed by my touch.
So John (as in “Maxwell”), I’m not surprised that every promo photo of you on your website includes a shot of your hands. They also must portray and define something significant about who you are and how you relate – non-verbally!