My Father's Hands

"Ah, Lord God!
It is you who have made the heavens and the earth
by your great power and by your outstretched arm!
Nothing is too hard for you."
~ Jeremiah 32:17

My dad was a quiet man.  I think that a good portion of the Amundson men were/are quiet.  He was six feet, tall and skinny.   Dad worked hard, he was in the construction business, and believed in the integrity and honesty of a good days labor.

One of the many things that struck me about my father was his hands.  They seemed large to me and dark from the sun.  The blood veins on his hands stuck out to where I would, as a young kid, like to squish and move.  His fingernails were wide and worn.  Often there would be some kind of wound gotten from his trade.  Strong hands and capable hands.  Tender hands and kind hands.  My dad could make almost anything with his hands and often made things to benefit us.

George Vernon Amundson (my dad) has been gone for many years now and there are lots of things that I have forgotten.  But I do remember those hands.  When I was in high school I had a horse.  It was quite the unruly thing and often would try to  knock me off by going too close to a tree or fence post.  My dad was not a horse man.  I didn't even know that he could ride a horse.  But one day, probably from me getting knocked off, my dad got on the horse taking the reins in his hands and made that horse behave.  It was like a magic trick as the horse obeyed every command that my dad gave.  It was a beauty in motion and I realized that 1) I was not a good rider and 2) my dad was an amazing guy.  I really always knew the second reason but in that moment I had to add yet another thing to what my dad could do with his strong hands.

Of course the hands are only a member of the body.  The body is ruled by the heart and mind.  So what my dad could do with his hands came from what he, himself was made of.  God, family and country were the things that he cared most about.  This was true for a long as I can remember and yet when my dad became a Christian the attributes that came from within were magnified.  A powerful memory  I have of my father's hands were when he would lift them in worship.  He so loved the Savior and it was a particular delight for him to worship with the community of saints.  Those gnarly hands were quick to be raised as soon as the music started.  And if his hands weren't raised in worship they were clapping.  

"I have held many things in my hands,
and have lost them all;
but whatever I have placed in God's hands,
that I still possess."
~ Martin Luther

Although I trusted in my dad's hands to take care of me; they were only human hands.  He would have been the first one to tell you of the things he should have done and those things that he did and regrets doing with his hands.  But as I remember and think about my dad's hands I am struck by the hands of a heavenly Father who never fails.  His hands are strong and tender at the same time.  They are more than capable enough to carry my burdens and lighten my load.  They are most tender to heal the wounds and calm the fears of this little bird.  So when trouble comes to my heart and anxiety vies for control where should I go but to the mighty hand of God.

"I have set the Lord always before me;
because he is at my right hand, 
I shall not be shaken."
~ Psalm 16:8

Remember the hands.

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