Hands Project - Jennifer
I once was watching a real life autopsy show, where the coroner was being interviewed, and she
stated that you can tell a lot about how people lived their lives by the way their hands looked.
She stated that she has seen lots of different people from all over, hands that were kept really
nice, hands that had worked, hands that were soft, hands that were in hard times, and hands
that had seen good times.
When I think at the end of my life how will the coroner view my life by the way my hands looked,
I hope it reflects all that I have done, both good and bad. Cause that’s what makes me, me.
My hands have done a lot of stuff, have felt a lot of stuff, and will still do a lot of stuff. As an
infant, my hands clung to the hand of my loving mother as she held and cradled me. My hands
held me up as I learned to crawl, reached for toys, ate, bathed myself, cleaned my teeth, prayed,
gave hugs, and looked for the hand of a father to protect and guide me. As a child, my hands
helped clean a room, swim, play softball, collect cans with my brother, swing, write a book report,
ride my bike, and help my sisters. As a teenager, my hands preformed more naughty tasks than
good tasks. They lit lighters for cigarettes, touched boys in all the wrong places, offended people,
put on heavy make-up, played music really loud, opened cans of beer, played pool, opened
windows in the middle of the night to sneak out, wrote on lockers in junior high, and wrote letters
to family and friends from inside juvenile hall. As I got older my hands cradled babies, feed them,
held the hand of my love across the alter of the temple, cleaned, cooked, taught little children
how to use their hands for feeding, praying, security, sleep, and guidance. Now that I’m older,
my hands are very busy with many tasks. My hands type, drive everywhere, work, love, feel,
garden, search for ancestors, make phone calls, carry the daily reminder to choose the right,
weed, blow dry my hair, exercise, pray, fold clothes, gesture to be quiet, take medicine, wipe
tears, play guitar hero, cook, lift heavy loads, hug, shop, and click.
I feel that the most important work my hands have performed is that of service. Service to my
children, my husband, my extended family, my ward, ancestors, temple, callings, schools. Serving
meals, lifting another, supporting someone, holding the hand of a fellow being, offering the hand
I know my hands can never bare the ultimate wounds of the infinite love as that of our Savior
Jesus Christ, but I hope that in my lifetime, I can perform with my hands all that He set the
example for us to do. That my hands at the end of my life will reflect the hands of someone
who used them for good, to lift and help another. Who used them in a gentle, loving manner.
With a softness of touch, yet a strength beyond measure.
Jennifer Herr, born 1972