This is one of a series of posts illustrating a beautiful portrait of humanity; of men and women who without even realizing it, strive to embody qualities Proverbs 31 embraces in all life areas – personally, with their family, professionally, spiritually, and in their love life too. Whether you’re a “Proverbs 31” man or a woman, you stand out from the rest; you’re a red rose among a field of yellow roses. You’re a man or woman of and for all ages, a role model of timeless strength and beauty, virtue and responsibility; a cherished life partner and a powerful entrepreneur too!
She layeth her hands to the spindle,
and her hands hold the distaff
The Proverbs 31 individual’s hands are rarely, if ever, idle. They use their time and hands wisely, faithfully, and skillfully to provide clothing, bed linens, and other necessities for family and others. In particular, this verse describes an ancient method of spinning fiber into thread. Prior to the advent of a spinning wheel, a spinster used a distaff (a staff) to hold flax, wool, or other fibers while a spindle spun fiber in a circular twisting and turning motion into thread.
An arduous undertaking, an individual who held a distaff and spindled fiber at the same time possessed great physical, spiritual, and mental strength. Further, they possessed much patience and endurance as it took much time to complete. An individual demonstrating these characteristics was considered a great blessing to all those in their life.
The New Testament describes such a woman. Her name was Tabitha – Aramaic for gazelle. Much like a gazelle, Tabitha was beautiful, nimble, and well known for her skilled artistry. Many smiled and felt relief in her presence; it was as though a heavy burden lifted. She was well loved, respected, and surrounded by those who clearly saw and felt the work and character of Christ within her.
In modern times, qualities such as strength, patience, and endurance as well as skills such as sewing, knitting, and quilting have become lost in favor of instant gratification and disposable wares. Yet there is so much value in creating something with your own hands; not just sentimental value, but financial value too as it costs far less to make your own clothing and quilts, for example, than to purchase them. What’s more, great satisfaction and pleasure can be derived from the work. Most of all children can learn so much from watching their mother and father work, allowing many qualities and skills to pass onto future generations.
Whether at home or away, truly following the lead and needs of others does not occur overnight; nor does such service diminish over time. Rather, it takes time, commitment, and effort to develop the patience, strength, and endurance to serve God and others. When performed with great love, the effort of one’s service grows more beautiful as time passes. An effort that requires investment in our self and in the relationships we have with others and with God.
It starts by asking God to bless our hands, making them skillful and successful for Him. With His blessings, we are then capable of doing amazing things with our hands. Next, believing in His Word gives us the strength, patience, and endurance to commit to following the lead and needs of others. “Servant leadership” as it is called – and its many forms – is a beautiful tapestry created with threads of strength, patience, and endurance woven with God’s Word, unconditional love, and acceptance. Laying His hands wisely and faithfully onto a spindle while skillfully holding a distaff, we become a most treasured masterpiece with God’s refinement. What’s more, created in His image, we have been given hands in which to create and share the most beautiful masterpieces of our own. The blessedness of our hands and of the work our hands produce comes from creating something with much love, much in the same way our Heavenly Father did when He used His Hands in creating us.
Remember … touch a life today “The Little Way” by following the lead and need of others. Also, if you ever thought to yourself, “I wish my community, knew…”, then be sure to visit White Light Communications at http://www.tothewhitelight.com.