Each year I resurrect the old candy dish and relive the memories that make it dear. It holds laughter and love of family, cherished Christmases past spent in a much simpler time.
Proudly displayed on Grandma’s Christmas table since the 50’s, it’s held all sorts of treats from candied maple nuts to chocolates, to peanut butter cookies and old-fashioned ribbon candy. I remember Grandma’s swollen fingers as she tied the ribbon to the top to make it more festive. The ribbon remains, and always will, just as she tied it her last Christmas with us.
It’s this time of year when I miss her the most – when my own bones and joints scream with the cold. When the wonderful aromas drift from my kitchen and I sense her warmth, almost hear her voice, and imagine that gleam in her eyes.
I consider the many hands at work this time of year; those that know more work than leisure – those unaccustomed to such things as paid vacation days.
I think of the many hands folded in prayer, searching through thin, warn pages of God’s Word for just the right verse, just the right answer to ease the worry and fatigue. What will the New Year bring?
God bless the hands that add a little water to the soup to make it reach to every mouth around the table.
I think of precious little ones learning, kneading, and straining to see above the counter. And how they look to the more skilled hands that offer guidance and instruction; hands that help make a house a home; a place of refuge and peace.
Likewise, teach the older women to be reverent in the way they live, not to be slanderers or addicted to much wine, but to teach what is good. Then they can urge the younger women to love their husbands and children, to be self-controlled and pure, to be busy at home, to be kind, and to be subject to their husbands, so that no one will malign the word of God.
(Titus 2:3-5) NIV
These are the hands that work love into every task. They bring forth moments that steal away little pieces of the heart forever. They hold and comfort, nurture and protect.
As with the hands that first brought forth life and spun the world into being, we can’t undo the work of the Lord – can’t unravel the work of love when it’s born of a sincere heart and embraces another.
The heavens declare the glory of God;
the skies proclaim the work of his hands.Day after day they pour forth speech;night after night they reveal knowledge.
(Psalm 19:1-2) NIV
May the Lord richly bless the work of your hands!
Wishing you a very Merry Christmas, from my heart to yours.