The Hands of a Woman

We talk often about women’s work, a woman’s place, even a woman’s worth. However, very rarely (if ever) have I heard much conversation about a woman’s hands, though.

I was talking with my Gran a few years ago, and we were discussing our thoughts about the use of cadaver body parts, particularly eyes. You know, normal family conversation.

I remember my Gran’s comments perfectly: “Eyes…well that would be fine. I just don’t know about hands. Hands, you know…they are just so personal.”

Personal. I love that description of hands because you can tell a lot about a person by their hands.

A woman’s hands are extra special, though.

The hands of a woman have steadily gripped the edges of a podium.

They’ve held hands of another struggling person.

They bang the table in raucous laughter, and they clang pots together as they prepare a family meal.

A woman’s versatile hands might be found wrapped around a chainsaw handle and, a few hours later, wrapping a child in a blanket and rocking her to sleep.

The hands of a woman cook and clean, strap on heels and strap in children before leaving for school.

They build businesses in corporate America and build cases in the American justice system.

A woman’s hands can pick up pecans in the front yard, as well as the pieces of her own life that another leaves shattered in his wake.

They swat flies and more than their fair share of rear ends.

They pop on gloves, whether to clean a home with surgical precision or to complete a surgery that’ll clean up another person’s life.

The same hands that fold clothes have folded in prayer to appeal for the life of a wayward child.

They can pull both teeth and triggers with identical efficiency and accuracy.

The hands of a woman write words and work fields. They hold the power to create both food and financial reports.

They can give fluids to the dying and a reassuring touch to the living.

They deliver babies and bad news. They pull out weeds and pull up carpet. They plant flowers in the summer and, in the fall, plant dreams into their students’ heads.

They can brush the teeth of their kids and the hair of patients who are unable to do so themselves.

A woman’s hands wipe away her tears as well as the tears of others, and they tear down walls that would’ve otherwise stood in the way of those who come behind them.

They dust the crown molding and mold future generations.

At times, they’ve clutched bottles (of the baby and beer persuasions), and may’ve held loosely both cigarettes and their sanity.

They set tables and set up business mergers.

They bear the scars of burns: from ovens and stoves, hot glue guns and hot curling irons, disappointments and dreams abandoned.

The hands of a woman raise children and raise the bar for those who come after.

A woman’s hands are much like the one to whom they attach: unique and quite extraordinary.


Throughout my life, the hands of a multitude of women have shaped me. They’re the family and friends, sorority sisters and school teachers, coaches and church family who stand as a backdrop to my life.

To these women who’ve inspired, led, and encouraged me: know that my life bears the imprint of your hand. The season of Thanksgiving has passed, but I would be remiss if I didn’t give you the credit you deserve.

In light of all they’re capable of, is it any surprise that the first place God entrusted His Savior Son was in the hands of a woman?


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