working with hands

I came across an article on the relationship between working with one's hands and brain chemistry: "How busy hands can alter brain chemistry."  Because I have fallen irretrievably "in love" with metal-stamping, I was intrigued with the gist of the article that working with one's hands changes the chemistry in the brain so that one is more calm, happier, and in tune with reality. It's the same whether it is baking (shout out to my sister here with her bakery, Harvest Bakery, in Terre Haute, IN...find it on Facebook), sewing, woodworking, or mechanics. One of the individuals interviewed, Matthew Crawford, is the author of a book, "Shop Class as Soulcraft: An Inquiry Into the Value of Work." As I think about the title (have not read it), I can feel the cylinders in my brain firing and my spirit responding to this deeper reality that seeks to express itself in the work of my hands. I am also reminded of the text in Psalm 90:17: "Let the favor of the Lord our God be upon us, and prosper for us the work of our hands— O prosper the work of our hands!" (NRSV). Ignatius of Loyola urges us to think about how we might labor with Christ, how we might cooperate in the work of God given our gifts, our opportunities. In turn, our hands allow us to reach for something, to express solidarity with another, to welcome with a handshake, and, I think with a profound sense of gratitude, what a gift we are given. Deo gratias.

chrocet fingers baby stripes.png