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Life

Hands

Old hands, young hands, wrinkled hands, calloused hands, soft hands, freckled hands. I love to study hands. I don’t think I have pretty hands, but they are what God gave me and I must realize He gave me these hands for a purpose. So, I need to embrace the fact that how my hands look are not what is important. It is how I use them

My brothers, sister and I have similar hands, just like my dad’s and grandfather’s. My grandpa’s hands were working hands. He was a plumber. His hands reached deep down into the recesses of toilets to unclog them and plodded through tight spaces under houses in muck and mire to connect pipes. My dad also had working hands–he climbed poles to restore electricity and helped mama cows birth their calves. My brother, 5 years younger than me also works hard with his hands, but not the same kind of hard as my dad and grandfather. He assembles sound systems and builds music studios. My sister, in her 60s, still cleans their cabin rentals every day and still works with her husband to gut and remodel houses

I was ten years old when my youngest brother, Brian, was born. Already infatuated with babies, he became my living baby doll. When he cried nights on end with painful ears, I rocked him back to peaceful sleep. My hands cradled him so lovingly as I cuddled him close, feeling his heartbeat thump, thump, thump against my chest. Sometimes when he was fast asleep, I could be known to jiggle his bed just to wake him so I could scoop him up with my small hands and love on him more.

Then our dad got cancer and ceased being the role model this teenage boy so desperately needed. My brother began to drink with his friends, then left home.

Years passed and I went off to school, married, and moved far away. My baby brother grew up and we drifted apart.

He still worked with his hands. He built a house and played guitar for a living in faraway countries.

Once he came by to visit us in Tennessee on his way home from Alaska. He loved our girls and they loved him. He, the fun uncle, tickled them softly with his freckled hands and made them laugh. Big boisterous laughter! His car, filled with a giant stuffed bear he had brought back, peered out the car window. Our girls, mesmerized by their amazing uncle, begged to have a picture with him and of course, the bear.

The girls grew up and began families of their own and didn’t see their uncle nearly as much as they would like.

We, finally empty-nesters, moved to Austria for a while. I worried about my brother. I knew he participated in risky behaviors, like drugs and alcohol.

We decided that after retirement we’d move to the Texas Hill Country where he lived, hoping to be a positive influence in his life. After two years in Austria, we received news that he tested positive for liver cancer. He finally gave up his drug and alcohol habit, but it was a little too late.

As he lay in the hospice bed, looking like a shriveled up old man, I tried to remember what it felt like to cuddle that soft little babe-in-arms. I caressed his hands, as memories flooded back of days long gone when I called him “my baby.” I gently laid my hand on his chest and it ever so slowly moved up and then down. I leaned over and felt his heartbeat just like I had done as a ten-year-old girl.

And then he breathed his last.

Never Again!

The United Nations in Vienna, Austria recently commemorated 70 years since the end of the Holocaust. A friend of ours who attended the ceremony reported that this emotional and stirring observance touched him deeply.

Following is a quote from one of the speakers:

“Today, the world once again marks International Holocaust Remembrance Day. We remember the six million Jewish and five million Gentile victims of Nazi terror. We also stand with those being oppressed and murdered today. The world needs to remember so that the sins of yesteryear don’t turn into the reality of today. NEVER AGAIN!”

The Holocaust was an atrocity that should never have happened. Having visited Auschwitz, I was sickened to witness the physical remnants, indications of horrific and appalling methods in which humans were tortured. I would also concur that this should never happen again!

Regrettably, it is happening again, and has been for decades. Extermination of helpless babies is our present Holocaust.

Our society fails to acknowledge the barbaric murder of helpless, innocent victims of abortion. How can we simply shrug off the deaths of 42 million babies each year (1.37 million of these in the United States)?

All humans have value simply because they are created by God in His own image.

So, God created man in his own image, in the image of God he created him; male and female he created them. Genesis 1:27 (NIV)

Babies are precious miracles fashioned by a Creator who cares deeply and individually for them. You created the deepest parts of my being. You put me together inside my mother’s body. How you made me is amazing and wonderful. I praise you for that. What you have done is wonderful. I know that very well. None of my bones was hidden from you when you made me deep inside my mother’s body.That place was as dark as the deepest parts of the earth. When you were putting me together there, your eyes saw my body even before it was formed. You planned how many days I would live. You wrote down the number of them in your book before I had lived through even one of them.

Psalm 139:13-16 (The Message)Baby-with-Tear

We have a strong desire to make a difference and take a bold stand for the babies, but often feel ill-equipped. It is easier to turn our heads the other way. It’s just too painful, too agonizing!

Although, to elicit a heart and mind change in another person is not our responsibility, we can influence others with our words, when well-chosen and seasoned with love, can make a difference. We need to educate ourselves with reliable information from credible sources. Then, at least, we are able to be a voice for the thousands of helpless babies. Lives are at stake! We must take a stand for these innocent victims.

You might ask what you can do. The Chuck Colson Center for Christian Worldview has made available an amazing resource: 21 Days of Prayer for Life. http://www.colsoncenter.org/images/content/colson2011/21-days-of-prayer-for-life-v2.4.pdfy

These heart-rending stories, information, and prayer models may offer just the spark to join the fight for life.

BABIES’ LIVES MATTER!

We need to shout “Never Again!” to the inhumane slaughter of tiny human lives.