Mary Jo was her mother’s helper. Mrs. Lee had often said she didn’t see how she could ever get along without Mary Jo’s eager, helpful hands.
One day Mary Jo came home from school with a troubled look on her face. Mother was busy as usual, but especially on this day, for Brother Rae, a returned missionary from Africa, was in their home for a few days.
“What is the matter with my little girl?” asked Mrs. Lee. “Has something gone wrong at school today?”
“It’s about my hands, Mother,” Mary Jo began timidly. “Some of the girls at school said mine were rough —and large. Eileen’s are so small and soft as silk. Every one says she has beautiful hands—”
Before Mother could comfort her, brother Rae appeared in the doorway. He had heard Mary Jo’s complaint, and he called to her, “Come, let me tell you how you may have beautiful hands.”
Mary Jo did not hesitate a moment to accept the invitation. Perhaps he could tell her how to have hands like Eileen’s—soft as silk.
Soon they were seated in the living room of the Lee home. Brother Rae reached for the Bible and took it up reverently.
‘‘God has many things to say in His Book about hands, Mary Jo,” he began.
‘‘In Isaiah 59:3 and Haggai 2:14, defiled or unclean hands are mentioned. Here the word ‘hands’ refers to the whole body as well as just the hands. Any one who has never received the Lord Jesus as Savior, and been washed in His precious Blood, is in His sight unclean and defiled. But Psalm 24:3-4, says: ‘Who shall ascend into the hill of the Lord? or who shall stand in His holy place? He that has clean hands, and a pure heart.’
“How, then, are unclean, defiled hands made clean and pure? This is the wonderful part, Mary Jo. God has provided a way. As we read on in this precious Book, we find the pierced hands of Someone—and that One is the Lord Jesus. His hands were pierced with cruel nails. When unclean hands are brought to the pierced ones of the Lord Jesus as the sinner asks to be forgiven, those defiled hands are made pure and clean.
“Have you ever received the Lord Jesus as your own Savior, Mary Jo?”
“Yes, I have, Brother Rae. I let Him come into my heart at Sunday School last Easter.’’ Mary Jo’s face shone with joy as without hesitation she told about when she had asked Jesus to save her.
“I’m so glad—I’m so glad, Mary Jo. I thought you had done so, but I wanted to be sure. Then your hands are clean hands in God’s sight, no matter what the children at school say.
“They are holy hands, too, for God’s Word speaks of hands that have been washed in the Blood of Jesus as ‘holy’ (1 Timothy 2:8). Pure, clean hands become useful hands, as they do kindnesses to other people for Jesus’ sake. These are the hands that are beautiful in His sight, Mary Jo, and I’m glad that your hands are beautiful to Him. The Lord knows and remembers the many ways you serve Him with your hands here in your home. And surely you’ll continue to do so!”
Brother Rae had hardly finished speaking when Mrs. Lee called, “Dinner!” It was a happy-faced Mary Jo who took her place at the table. Mother saw the change and smiled her thanks to Brother Rae, who started up the old song as they stood about the table:
“Take my life and let it be Consecrated, Lord, to Thee; …
Take my hands and let them move At the impulse of Thy love.”
The Beautiful Way