For as long as I can remember, I’ve experienced the gift of joy as I watch my father’s hands. They move effortlessly, beautifully, skimming over the ivory and onyx keys of his piano or an organ, or his keyboard. I listen to his soul-moving music, wondering how much longer I’ll hear it since he received the disheartening news.
He’s eighty-four, slender, and a little stooped now, yet he appears strong and healthy for his age.
My mind slips back to yesterday–except for a couple of God-given sunbeams–not a very happy day, yesterday.
So I’ll focus on the sunbeams.
It’s early afternoon. Dad and I sit together waiting to see the doctor, a specialist in hand surgery.
We’ll schedule needed surgery when we see him. Not a highlight of either of our lives.
Dad’s hands are healthy except for his right thumb. Cancer has staked its claim.
Today his hands are whole. In a week they won’t be whole any longer.
Several children are in the reception area as we wait to see the doctor.
Dad and I have big mushy hearts for children and the elderly.
Wherever I take my father, he attracts both. When I’m alone with him, our spirits mirror one another. I have precious glimpses of his love for life and his joying in it.
He always gives others joy.
A tiny, chubby, cherub of a baby girl, maybe eighteen months old or so, walks all around, exploring the waiting room. She’s adorable with her light brown little face, big dancing brown eyes, and constant smile. She begins peeking at Dad, who watches her, sending her his own big smile.
I think she’s fascinated with his snow white beard.
It isn’t long before she pauses in front of him, gazes up at him.
She looks over at me, not quite seeming to know what he is or what to make of him.
I nod, and smile back at her sweet, inquisitive expression.
“That’s a Grandpa,” I tell her, “Grandpa’s are to love.”
She turns back to look at him, to study him for a few long seconds, then without a hesitant step, she toddles straight over to him.
Her little arms encircle his legs, and she lays her head-full of chocolate-colored curls right down on his knees in the dearest, gentlest hug I think I’ve ever seen.
Then, she raises her head to look up at him, and sends him another beautiful smile before she toddles off to her family.
Tears brim in my dad’s eyes.
What dear, precious, pure love! A hug for Dad—through her sweet little arms—from God’s own heart.
The stinging dread of what my father will have to go through—what he will miss—softens a little for me. I’m not sure what Dad thinks, but I’m praying.
On the way out, Dad stops to pass his good cheer to an elderly woman in a wheelchair. He pats her arm and gifts her with his words of encouragement.
I watch age-etched lines ease away with her smile.
The doctor is confident that he’ll go through this surgery just fine.
I am too.
God is with us, will strengthen and help us, and will uphold us.
We’re called to love–to love our heavenly Father with all our hearts, and others as ourselves.
With His help we can! ☺
“Fear not, for I am with you; be not dismayed, for I am your God. I will strengthen you, yes, I will help you, I will uphold you with My righteous right hand.” Isaiah 41:10
You shall love the Lord your God with all your heart, with all your soul, and with all your strength. Deuteronomy 6:5
Jesus answered the scribe, “And you shall love the Lord your God with all your heart, with all your soul, with all your mind, and with all your strength. This is the first commandment. And the second, like it, is this: You shall love your neighbor as yourself. There is no other commandment greater than these.” Mark 12:30-31
Have you seen and experienced love personified recently?
We had a lot to be thankful for. Dad did come through his surgery well, and he never stopped playing the piano. He’s with his beloved Lord Jesus now, after having lived four more years. I still miss him very much. Besides that precious baby girl, I think he was the best hugger ever.
Hug someone today!
♥ Sally ♥