Sunday, 7 June 2015

The Praying Hands

You may be familiar with this picture of "Study of the Hands of an Apostle"- a pen and ink drawing by the artist Albrecht Dürer drawn around 500 years ago. The popular legend is that the artist drew the hands of his brother, who sacrificed the dream of training as an artist, and went down the mines to earn the money to pay for Albrecht’s studies. Touching – but probably untrue! 

When I was in my teens, I’d often sit next to Mum in church and look down at her hands, clasped in prayer. She didn’t go in for manicures or nail varnish – her hands were wrinkled, working hands – their only adornments a simple wedding band, and the engagement ring with the tiny diamond, which Dad bought her when they were in their teens.
I’d compare her wrinkled skin with my own smooth pink hands, and wonder if I’d ever have a husband one day - plus the accompanying engagement and wedding rings. Since our burglary, I have been wearing her engagement ring, as my own was stolen.

Mum was an amazing lady, and even when her health problems made her less mobile, she still had a very active prayer life. I was thinking about her this week as I prepared my sermon on Exodus 20; 12 [Honour your mother and father]

As I was preparing, I was sitting praying – I opened my eyes and looked down…and saw that same engagement ring, but the wrinkled hands are mine now. 
May God give me the grace to honour her memory always – and to love, serve and pray as she did. 


  1. Good, honest, strong, hard-working hands. Nothing wrong with that, Angela. Now mine are adorned with patches of psoarisis which has decided to attach itself to me. My fingers are swollen too much to wear any rings anymore.

  2. A lovely post and a beautiful tribute to your mother.

  3. Oh this is lovely. The first assembly I ever took was about these hands. X

  4. Hands can tell a lot of stories


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