For as long as I can remember my Dad has always worked with his hands.
Blunt with wide palms and thick fingers he could coax wood into beautiful pieces of furniture, trim out a room, or make the most amazing kitchen cabinets.
He would tinker with our cars and keep them running far longer than should have been reasonably expected.
For a time when I was about Claire’s age he made these beautiful air brushed stained glass windows.
He’s refinished guns until the wood has a soft and satin gleam.
He’s carved knives that are perfectly weighted and balanced and to hear people say it, sharp enough to cut your hand off.
His hands are one of the first things I picture about my Dad.
They’ve always been constant…steady and strong, sure in their work.
There was never a time growing up that I was afraid. Not of someone hurting me. Not of trying something new because I knew he was always there, those strong steady hands ready to catch me if I failed, helping figure out what went wrong.
Those hands have been there all of my life pointing me to the path of Truth…to the way of the cross.
His birthday is today. Physically, his hands move a little slower and they may not be quite as steady as they used to be but he’s still creating beautiful things from chunks of wood.
We talk a lot in our home and church about beauty, about being imitators of God by taking something and transforming it into something else. Recently, the kids were over visiting their PawPaw and Nana and Abby and Claire came home with these beautiful wooden boxes he had made.
It gives me a great deal of joy to see my girls using something their PawPaw made…Claire keeps various treasures in hers and Abby found that hers is the perfect place to keep her ipod.
They will always have these tangible reminders of the faithfulness of their PawPaw in the same way that I have memories of countless times in the workshop with him.
Happy birthday, Pop! We wish you much happiness and love celebrating this day. Thank you for the strength and steadiness of hand and heart that reaches from through out my life into the lives of your grandchildren.