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Periaktoi Writing Post

Volume 53
Issue 2

Single Visual Art Post

  • Essay
I Believe in Hands
Lilli Carlton


I Believe In Hands 

Look at your hands- those are your hands. They have five fingers each, hopefully, with nails, veins, and creases. You can decide to do whatever you want with them. Some people use their hands for shaking, sewing, brushing hair, or tying shoes, and some people use them for forming a fist. More than these actions, hands can be used for making people feel loved, by giving high-fives, wiping tears, giving pats-on-the-backs, or for grandmothers and aunts holding your face while they kiss you a billion times; these positive hand gestures can make people feel loved. I believe in hands and using them for the better.

I remember focusing on my feet, not my hands, during a soccer game last year. Sweaty and out of breath, I got up from falling after I booted the ball out of the eighteen-yard-box. I felt defeated as a defender, because that kick was the only huge kick I had all game. I felt like this after every game, defeated and inferior to my other teammates- even if I were to "shut down the defense," as my coach would say. I would walk off of the soccer field looking around at my ecstatic teammates, and, even though we won, I was not happy because I felt like I played terribly; But then when I got back to the bench, my coach would say "Atta girl, bean!" and give me a huge high-five, and my team would give each other pats-on-the-backs. I would always feel better after the end of the game, with my team's hands continuing to hold up me up in encouragement.

Not to keep talking about myself (something I actually do not like doing at all), I would love to be honest about something a little more serious than soccer. This school year has been rough for me. Starting high school is one thing, but starting high school living away from family is another. However, starting high school away from family and not knowing exactly where you will be living the next year is quite another. At home I could have the hands of my mother navigating through my problems with me, or the hands of my dad calming me down by holding them and changing the subject, such as politics; but at boarding school, I don't have these hands near by, and that has affected me. Before this year, I was always someone people would go to because I was strong, and people could lean on me without being afraid of falling. But, this year, not knowing the location of my family has lead me to become weaker. I was afraid to open myself up because there were unfamiliar hands all around me. All of this caused me to fall, and I needed a helping hand to help me become strong again. Since I have been at Baylor, I have gotten just what I needed; this includes, but is certainly not limited to, having great friends that scroll through Pinterest trying to figure out what we will probably not bake, but it would be awesome if we could bake it sometime; scrolling through Twitter and Instagram looking at the cute guy that we followed and he followed back; graciously bringing me soup when I was sick; or, especially, holding hands in prayer. These hands are the hands of the people that care for me and have helped me through a rough patch of my life.

Along with motivation and encouragement, hands can be used for philanthropical gestures that most people simply do not think to do; for example, I met a deaf guy once that changed me and, hopefully, I helped him. People who are deaf have a difficult time communcating to the hearing because of the language barrier and because some people naturally find deaf people weird due to their disability. So, a person who cannot hear, communicate and is homeless is in need of extra love and affection; and on a mission trip last summer, I gave this deaf homeless man love through attempts at sign language. All I said was, "Hi, my name is L-i-l-l-i." His eyes got tearful, glistening with happiness, all because of the loving communication through hand gestures.

I've grown to trust the hands of loved ones- the hands that support me in sports, academics, and altruism. Likewise, there is a well-known song I learned in Sunday School that says, "He's got the whole world in his hands." It's a song full of comfort that describes God holding and supporting this whole world: the world that is full of happenings, good and bad. These hands of God are cradling people who have hands, and people do acts of love with hands. I believe in hands.