Our hands

Gil Rubio: “We can all do beautiful things with our Hands.”

By Gil Rubio

Several years ago now, The Lord called my Aunt Theresa home. She was my mother’s younger sister, but maybe more importantly she was my cousin George’s mother.

I sincerely hope that he will not mind me bringing this up, but I remember that at the Mass of Christian Burial, George delivered a most eloquent, beautiful and loving eulogy for his mother and he said something that has remained with me.

He said that as he sat at his Mother’s bedside holding her hands, he looked at them and he began to think of all that she had done with those hands … The work she had done. The Children she raised. What stories and experiences they held.

What a way to think of your Mother and to see her in a different light … to see her from a different perspective. Yes, all that she had accomplished with her hands.

I thought that was really touching, and it moved me.

That thought has remained with me, and at times I think about how it relates to all of us, and how we affect the World around us.

Our Hands …
What have we accomplished with them?
What good have we brought?

Our thoughts and intentions may be Noble and Loving, but it is our
Hands that must do the work to accomplish the tangible.

There is a quote which is attributed to Saint Francis of Assisi:

He who works with his Hands is a Laborer
He who works with his Hands and his Head is a Craftsman
He who works with his Hands and his Head and his Heart is an Artist.

In each scenario, it is the Hands that do the work.

Maybe we can’t all be Artists or Craftsmen, but the Laborer is no less Noble.
The accomplishment is in the doing.

When you consider that both the Artist and the Craftsman probably
utilized tools manufactured by the Laborer,
suddenly the Hands take on a different and more meaningful role.

But there are more accomplishments that can be attributed to the Hands!

A wave of the Hand can signal friendliness and friendship that goes
well beyond the physical.
A firm Handshake can signal Trust and Confidence and even Love.
The Hands can signal the need for a hug or the desire to hug.
The Hands can console by touch
and caress with love.
The Hands can heal.
The Hands can massage the aches and pains.
The Hands can prepare meals.
The Hands can feed the hungry.
They can give to the poor.
The Hands can save lives.

Sometimes I think we take them for granted.
Sometimes I think we expect too much of ourselves, and our Hands
and other times I think we don’t value our Hands enough.

If the Eyes are the windows to our Souls …
then perhaps the Hands are the “doors” to our Hearts and Souls
because they can open to the acts of Love and Compassion.
Performing acts of Humanity for the good of all.

No, maybe we can’t all be Artists and paint the most beautiful paintings.
Maybe we can’t all carve the most beautiful statues.
Maybe we can’t all write the most beautiful stories.

But we can all do beautiful things with our Hands.

It can be as simple as holding the door open for someone,
or helping someone carry something.

The actions we take with our Hands may be much greater than we know or
realize …

The accomplishment is in the doing.

With Love, Compassion and Humanity for the good of all.

What will we accomplish with our Hands today?


When I was young, I used my Hands to draw … a lot, until I discovered that I wanted to play Music.
Now I use my Hands to try and accomplish that for the last 48 years …
Although I don’t feel that I have accomplished much, I also know that
it’s not about me.
It’s about All of us and how we treat and affect each other as Brothers and Sisters on the One Planet we share under one Sun.
And when I see people enjoying, or getting something out of the Music
we present … Whether it is my Band at a Show or our Choir at Church.
Whether they’re smiling, laughing and dancing at a Show or feeling the
Spirit and Presence of The Lord in Church …
Then maybe that is when I can feel that I have contributed some good
and accomplished something worthwhile.
I can only hope.

Author’s note: I am grateful to still be Operations Manager at Ryan Ranch Printers in Monterey, California and lead a Bilingual Choir at the church I grew up in. I am also the leader and principal Song Writer of Red Beans & Rice, a Blues-Inspired, New Orleans-Influenced Band in its 26th year with 7 CD Releases to its credit.

Editor’s note: Gil is the youngest of three children born to my godparents, Lupe and Salvador (R.I.P.) Rubio. His mother is the oldest of nine siblings that included my late mother, Theresa Flores. Gil has a gift for words and a heart of 24-karat gold, both of which I admire.

Tomorrow: Midori, Ayumi and Aki Mori | A butterfly named Midori

5 thoughts on “Our hands

  1. This piece with come in handy during meditation 🙂 Actually, I have a book – called Meditation On the Go on mindfulness. One chapter is dedicated to thanking your hands.

  2. A thought-provoking essay, Gil. I remember my late husband’s hands, how they evolved from rough calluses that reflected his work as a machinist to soften after his disability prevented him from working. Even in his last months, when his cognition failed and the morphine agitated everything, his hands worked furiously machining in his unrestful sleep. I asked him one day what he was making and he said a box. I began to dread when the box would be completed. Memories, eh?

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