Thursday, December 11, 2014


We know that all things work together for good for those who love God, who are called according to his purpose. Romans 8:28

Most of us grew up watching Leave it to Beaver and Mayberry RFD on TV, but I did not have that kind of childhood. I did not have an easy childhood. Our father abused our mother. I can remember the sounds of him hitting her, even though I closed my eyes and covered my ears. Even though he did not hit me, my mom worried that I, too, had been damaged by my father’s anger.

Then my father died on Christmas day and the family was gathered together at the funeral home. I remember touching my father’s body in the coffin. I especially noticed his hands. He had long, slender fingers, and my fingers and hands were identical to his. His hands were part of what he had genetically given to me…those same hands that had struck my mother. I struggled with the thought that half of who I am genetically comes from my abusive father. Everything I want to be comes from my mother. She taught me to make a bad situation better, not worse. I struggled with the fact that I have his hands.

As I have struggled with this part of my history, I have come to realize that God can take a small part of a horrible situation…my father’s hands…and use that same design (in me) to create good and love instead of pain and hurt. God did not design hands for doing harm; it is people who misuse them. It is my God-given choice as to how I will use these hands God has given me. I will choose to honor God, my mother and my father, with my hands, and to show love and compassion to other people.

Debbie Mawyer-Hamlin

Prayer: Dear God, The Psalmist says that I am fearfully and wonderfully made. Help me to honor you by the way that I use my hands. Let me be a person who uses all of my being, including my hands, to share your love and compassion with others. Amen.