Have you seen those cute elementary or Sunday School projects where the child draws around the fingers on the hand or makes a hand imprint in a piece of clay? The thumb becomes the head of the turkey and the four fingers become its tail feathers sticking up. You have a memory gift and Thanksgiving has been celebrated. Cute!
Also my memory of Thanksgiving is that it takes lots of hands to put on a big family meal. One family brings this and another that and the host does the turkey and that does not count all the other contributions. The men use their hands to clap for football teams. Us cousins would do the dishes with our hands and then do a family puzzle. We always played “Button, button, who has the button” as our hands passed a button around under the long dinning table and then guessed who had it. Sometimes hands held cards for bridge or hearts. Hands usually are part of prayer.
We have many idioms involving hands.. “Many hands make light work.” “A bird in the hand is worth two in the bush.” And then when we want to claim something is beyond us, we say, “My hands are tied.” Hands are important parts of our body. We use our hands all the time.
I love the Isaiah 49: 15,16:
Can a woman forget her nursing child,
or show no compassion for the child of her womb?
Even these may forget,
yet I will not forget you.
16 See, I have inscribed you on the palms of my hands;
your walls are continually before me.
God says we are inscribed on the palms of his hands. That makes me think of Calvary and the scars of his death on the cross. His hands are not just the handprints we detect in a sunrise or sunset. His handprint is seen in the smile and love of that child who makes the Thanksgiving turkey on a piece of clay for us. His presence is felt in the hands that reach out and love us when we feel unloved. The ELCA uses as their motto, “God’s work, our hands.” Hands are important.
Take time to think of how you use your hands to prepare the Thanksgiving feast, or how you use them to reach out to another. Remember, love never ties hands but uses them to help others. Blessings.