Sunday, February 13, 2011

My Wife's Hands

Everyone who knows me knows how much I adore my wife. I love everything about her. She brings no end of enjoyment to my life; she is a book in progress that I cannot put down.

Recently we were travelling together on a tour bus on our way to Florence (that's another story). I noticed her hand gently clutching her camera in her lap. What first struck me about this otherwise common occurrence was that she didn't hold it possessively in a kind of condescension, or in a cold indifference, as if it was expected that she should be toting a camera; no, she held the instrument as she would a blessing, a gift, and a privilege. She cradled her camera with a sense of thankfulness. There was no ostentation in her grip--the designer's imprint meant very little to her. She held her camera protectively, as she might hold a child's hand. She did this not so much because the camera was expensive and she wanted to keep it from harm--although, I suppose, in all honesty, that was part of it. More importantly, and what was clearly evident from her loving grasp, she was keeping safe the memories recorded there--those hard copies of slices of her life and the lives of those friends and family she so cherished, all carefully archived for posterity.

I love to hold my wife's hand. Through that lovely soft hand of hers she so often feeds me with a strength and solidarity that has no other origin, and she invariably effects this when I need it the most. She understands me so well as to know precisely when to take my hand. And I am always the better for it. I trust, too, that through that same hand she also receives from me the confidence and solace that sometimes elude her. I at least pray that that will be so.

Perhaps it is rather morbid to suggest, but if ever I would be fortunate enough to be next to her when my life is fading away, I should want to be holding her hand. I can think of no better way to die than to see the escorting angel smile and feel my wife's assurance--to pass from this life to life eternal in seamless love.

I enjoy watching my wife's hands--studying them--marveling at their beauty and form--reveling in their charm and industry. Her hands are purposeful in all they do, kind to all they touch, and gifted in all they accomplish. My wife's hands are the ready instruments of God's love.