Posted in Dealing with Trials, Faith, Family, Inspiration, Uncategorized

Whose hand?

TRULY THANKFUL FOR: The gift of human touch

Thanksgiving Day was near. The first grade teacher gave her class a fun assignment — to draw a picture of something for which they were thankful.

Most of the class might be considered economically disadvantaged, but still many would celebrate the holiday with turkey and other traditional goodies of the season. These, the teacher thought, would be the subjects of most of her student’s art. And they were.

But Douglas made a different kind of picture. Douglas was a different kind of boy. He was the teacher’s true child of misery, frail and unhappy. As other children played at recess, Douglas was likely to stand close by her side. One could only guess at the pain Douglas felt behind those sad eyes.

Yes, his picture was different. When asked to draw a picture of something for which he was thankful, he drew a hand. Nothing else. Just an empty hand.

His abstract image captured the imagination of his peers. Whose hand could it be? One child guessed it was the hand of a farmer, because farmers raise turkeys. Another suggested a police officer, because the police protect and care for people. Still others guessed it was the hand of God, for God feeds us. And so the discussion went — until the teacher almost forgot the young artist himself.

When the children had gone on to other assignments, she paused at Douglas’ desk, bent down, and asked him whose hand it was. The little boy looked away and murmured, “It’s yours, teacher.”

She recalled the times she had taken his hand and walked with him here or there, as she had the other students. How often had she said, “Take my hand, Douglas, we’ll go outside.” Or, “Let me show you how to hold your pencil.” Or, “Let’s do this together.” Douglas was most thankful for his teacher’s hand.

Brushing aside a tear, she went on with her work.

The story speaks of more than thankfulness. It says something about teachers teaching and parents parenting and friends showing friendship, and how much it means to the Douglases of the world. They might not always say thanks. But they’ll remember the hand that reaches out.


Wishing you all the warmth, joy and blessings that this Thanksgiving holiday brings. Whether it be a light tap on the shoulder or a full-on bear hug, use the gift of touch and make some one feel safe, warm and happy throughout the holidays.



Christ-follower, wife, and mother of two living and succeeding with Cystic Fibrosis. Come check out my blog 100% Chance of CHANGE that follows my life's journey, one day at a time. Stories about life, raising kids, marriage and relationships, family, my CF struggles, faith and so much more!

11 thoughts on “Whose hand?

  1. I can’t comment on your facebook post for obvious reasons. But, I did want to speak up regarding your experience with a troll recently. I’d venture a guess the commenter did so anonymously, which pretty much tells the whole story. That person is unhappy and unfulfilled and takes joy in criticizing others in mean spirited attacks. It’s not someone who you should pay any mind to. It’s also why I have set my comments feature to require moderation; that way I can screen the crap before it ends up in my space. You’re not the first to be attacked this way, and you’re not the last…it won’t even be the last time it happens to you, I promise. Keep your head up, and keep writing. You have an important message to share. More importantly you have a strong spirit that serves as an example to anyone facing adversity. Don’t let some a$$hole take that away from the many people in your life (and many who you don’t even know) who need it and will find comfort and inspiration in it.

    1. As always, teaching, guiding and lending your support. It was so great to talk to you today. Miss you much and always thankful for our friendship and your honesty. Hugs!!!!

  2. Jen, I heard from Hunter that an internet troll visited you this past weekend and engaged in typical, pathetic behavior in an effort to hurt someone beautiful: you. I was reading your most recent post and would like to help you rise up above whatever the troll wrote to you. I have a link to share that I think might help, at least a little:

    I shared this with my daughters and it made me cry watching with them, knowing that with junior high ahead, they will experience nastiness something like this (hopefully not this bad, but I remember that period of my life being pretty awful). But it makes me smile to know they are loved, so loved, and they are good, loving people with happy lives and endless possibilities — like you, Jen. By sharing your journey with us, you impart inspiration, laughter, sometimes tears and (for me, anyway) often awe.

    I cannot imagine the sad, meaningless kind of life that prompts a person to become an internet troll, to want nothing more than to inflict the sort of hurt on others that they themselves feel. Maybe it’s an extreme case of misery loving company. Regardless, like other bullies, they only lose, even when they “win” by hurting others. Please remember that however personal this feels, it’s not about you. It’s about someone who hates what they see in the mirror, who hates the person they know best, and would do anything to assuage that hurt by focusing it outwards. Maybe, like the guy in Lindy’s video, this person will eventually realize their path will never make them happy and change. But don’t let them change you or what you are doing here, because you are making a difference in others’ lives and we love you for it.

    *HUGS* (and yes, much as I’d like to pull out the pointy shoes, the troll isn’t even worth that! 🙂 )

    1. Oh how I miss you. I loved your link, and it did help, tremendously today. What a story she tells! I will be sharing this link far and wide. As for your beautiful comment, it has me bawling my eyes out at the moment, so I can’t hardly think of how to respond. I love you and everything you are. Thank you for loving me back as you have.

  3. Jen, it’s a good thing you don’t write about anything controversial, like giving restaurant reviews! 🙂

    The Internet is full of trolls. Always has been and always will be. You started your blog for the same reason that I did: we had something to say. Don’t let some (I’m assuming) anonymous nobody spoil your mood or your mission just because they have nothing better to do with their time than tear random people down.

    Think of this opportunity as your Red Badge of Courage. You’ve officially survived your first Internet-based idiot. The first restaurant for which I was ever banned because of what the owner thought I wrote (I believe he actually never read my actual review and got his information from a third party), at first I was a little bummed, but then I realized, you can’t write an opinion without at least one person disagreeing with you. As long as you are fair and honest and true to your experience, at the end of the day you can be proud of what you’ve put out there for the world to see.

    You have something to say. Do the world a favor and say it!

    1. Thanks Tom. 🙂 Thanks for your encouragement, for sharing your experiences and for the continued friendship. Love the “Red Badge of Courage” statement. Thank you for reading and caring. Love and hugs!

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