Grandad's Hands

I've been wanting to share what I wrote for Grandad's funeral for a while, but I had not plucked up the courage until now. Each of the grandchildren had an opportunity to speak at the funeral, and this is what I put down in words. Jake, my brother-in-law, spoke for both my sister and me.

I have a picture of Grandad that I have been carrying in my bible since he first got sick in January. The picture marked the passage of scripture that I have been praying over him for the last several months. Matthew 9:1-7
Jesus climbed into a boat and went back across the lake to his own town. Some people brought to him a paralyzed man on a mat. Seeing their faith, Jesus said to the paralyzed man. "Take heart, son! Your sins are forgiven."
"Blasphemy! This man talks like he is God!" some of the teachers of the religious law said among themselves.
Jesus knew what they were thinking, so he asked them, "Why are you thinking such evil thoughts? Is it easier to say, ‘Your sins are forgiven’ or ‘Get up and walk’? I will prove that I, the Son of Man, have the authority on earth to forgive sins." Then Jesus turned to the paralyzed man and said, "Stand up, take your mat, and go on home, because you are healed!"
And the man jumped up and went home! (NLT)

My prayer for Grandad has continually been that Jesus would turn to him and tell him to go on home, and He has done just that.

One of the reasons that I love this picture of my grandfather is that his hands can be easily seen. I love Grandad’s hands—the crooked middle finger of his left hand, the nubbed ring finger next to it, rough, worn, and callused. I used to watched these hands as they shuffled dominoes and created are out of wood. They served cancer patients and so many others. They helped steady Grandmommie’s hands and teach the hands of his children and grandchildren. These were the hands of Christ, serving and loving others in Jesus’ name—putting others before himself, loving and serving as Christ served.

My hands are not as rough and callused as his. They bare the marks of youth and not of age, but these hands have been taught to serve by his hands. Many hands here have been taught to serve by his hands. In Philippians 3:17, Paul challenges the Philippians to pattern their lives after his and to learn from those who follow his example. My challenge to all of us is to pattern our lives after Grandad’s, a true and faithful follower of Christ.
For our citizenship is in heaven, from which also we eagerly wait for a Savior, the Lord Jesus Christ; who will transform the body of our humble state into conformity with the body of His glory, by the exertion of the power that He has even to subject all things to Himself. (Philippians 3:20-21, NAS)