ReadersMagnet Authors Lounge | I was inspired recently to consider how well the hands that God gave me has served me during my lifetime, and often in the lives of others. Maybe not always in the best interests of mankind, but I’ll let you be the judge of that. These same miraculous hands that God gave me to hug, hold and comfort my children and grandchildren, did also on occasion end up playing smash mouth in some honky tonk bar brawl with some other redneck as same as myself. I remember well the day coming home from one episode, with one ear partly ripped off. Looking into the wide eyes of my young son and daughter as they asked, “Daddy, what happened to your ear?” That image caused me to immediately T total quit drinking on the spot. I never took another drink for over seven years. And have never had a drinking problem since that day.
I want to reminisce here a little in no particular order about some of the things these hands have been responsible for. Whether good, bad or indifferent. Hopefully it may help you take a look at your own hands in a little bit different way and be inspired to more specifically be appreciative and to thank God for the wonderful tools that He has placed at the end of your own arms. I am sure we could all sit down and come up with an endless amount of service, good deeds and interesting service in this life journey, spent in conjunction with our interaction with others that would inspire us all. If we were just to consider the life time work escapades, and the service of our hands. Think about it! It will at times cause me to laugh out loud or in contrast bring tears of sadness to my eyes. Tears of regret that cannot be changed, as well as tears of joy over fond memories of the past. It will however do us well to remember that this present moment in time is all we will ever need. Yesterday is over and done with, it will never return. Tomorrow has not yet arrived, therefore this present moment is all we should concern ourselves with as we go forward in service to God and to fellowman.
I am eighty seven years old now and with each passing day, week, month and year that goes by I have become more thankful, grateful and appreciative of the value of a warm hand shake, an arm around the shoulder, an appropriate touch by a friend and even a stranger. And especially a sincere heart felt hug is best of all. Our day immediately seems better after an encounter such as this with another. I have spent years in attempting to develop a natural aptitude not only to respond in kind, but to initiate and promote this type warmth between us human beings. It makes these hands, this heart, this mind and Christ who lives within me happy when I help others to feel better. It would be impossible to overestimate the power that a loving, tender and sincere touch at the appropriate time, extended to a fellow person in need will do to lift the spirits at a time when most needed. A few weeks ago we were in a restaurant in Traverse City, Michigan. I was wearing my Korean war cap at the time, as I paid the bill, the waitress gave me a big warm, sincere hug and thanked me for my service to our country. I still feel the positive effects of that young lady’s thoughtfulness and care.
These are the hands: that at different times have been responsible for saving the lives of six people from drowning that I can recall at this moment in time. My wife, our daughter, and four others. Without elaborating on it more or getting into specifics, these hands have prevented at least two women that I can remember from being raped in years past. These hands saved the life of three people on Easter Sunday 1977. Then adding myself to it also, making it four people. Although in reality the hands were just the tools that God was using to save us all. I was headed south on highway I-75 with a semi tanker loaded with ten thousand gallons of volatile propane type fuel. Well over one hundred thousand pounds of cargo and steel in bumper to bumper traffic. A situation developed just north of Flint, Michigan. A man, his wife and their little granddaughter traveling southbound also, hit ice and begin to spin out of control in front of me. At my own peril I was attempting to give them room to get their vehicle straightened out and under control as they continued on into my lane of traffic. To prevent from running right over the top of their car, which would have been certain death for all inside their vehicle. The traffic was all bunched up and running about seventy miles an hour.
These hands: on the steering wheel of the Kenworth tractor trailer propane bottle I was driving was able to almost avoid them, but left me hung out to dry on the shoulder of the roadway at a dangerous angle on the soft edges of the road, I knew I was going to lose control and bite the dust. The crashing and grinding of twisting steel as I began to roll over, still echoes in my ears today whenever I think about it. It tore my tractor all to pieces as I rolled over and slid down the ditch alongside the road. All eight driver wheels and tires broke off and continued on down the expressway. I prayed to God as I kept the accelerator mashed to the floor to keep from jack knifing. A short and intense, heartfelt prayer of, “God save my life” was all the time I had. And He did! The man, his wife and their little granddaughter were spared as well. We all went together to the hospital to be checked out, only a few scratches between us. I hitched a ride back to Kalkaska and climbed back into another tanker truck loaded with propane. I knew if I took the time to think about it, I might not ever drive another tanker. The first few loads after that were driven with somewhat anxious hands, but driven never the less. My hands continued to serve me well as a driver with that company and others for many years.
Many years before the above experience, at seventeen years old, I went through Army basic training at Fort Riley, Kansas. Even though the machine gun training instructor mentioned that the average life of a machine gunner under enemy attack was about three minutes, still the thought of what your hands could do to an enemy intrigued me. So, when I joined the 2nd Infantry Division on the front-lines in Korea, the very first thing I did was to volunteer as a machine gunner. I wanted to see lots of blood, none of it mine of course. Big Mistake! I had not considered carrying the forty-seven-pound weapon up and down those snow covered, frozen mountains. You would welcome the times you would be under attack in a fire fight with the Chinese enemy and get to use your weapon. One of the few times our hands would get warm as the barrel would get red hot and smoke. Until finally it was no longer any good, it had worn out by over use. but I couldn’t leave it behind for the enemy to fix up and use against us. These hands still had to carry it up and down those snow-covered frozen mountains
These are the hands: that were responsible for some old Korean or Chinese mother never again having the opportunity to hug and hold her loving son. It was a positive at the time, a dead enemy would never have to be fought again. But looking back it causes me problems. Our government sent us to kill them the same way their government sent them to kill us. All of us mostly young kids, doing as we were programmed and trained to do. These same hands that killed, gave comfort and kindness to Korean war orphans. These same hands loaded multiple hundreds and even thousands of the dead and mangled bodies of American soldiers back to the United States to their own grieving mothers and families. These are the hands: that at eighteen years old misused my own authority and took advantage of a couple of Korean dock workers that I caught stealing things meant for our troops on the front-lines. I regret yet of having gone over-board on the punishment I had inflicted upon them. These same hands many years later would spend much time in the pages of the bible in a repentant attitude, trying to understand and make some kind of sense out of life, the insane war we had been in and all of the killing. Man’s inhumanity to man.
One day in July 1950 outside of Pusan, Korea. Myself and a couple other soldier buddies were walking down a dusty road where tanks, trucks, jeeps and other war materials were clanking and grinding their way to the front-lines. The Brutal North Korean Army was having their way with our military. They were better trained, much better equipped with weapons and they outnumbered us in manpower. They were about to drive us right out of Korea. A group of little girl war orphans had caught up with us and were walking along attempting to beg something from us. As we walked along, a much smaller little girl began to fall behind and started crying for help. These are the hands that went back and picked her up and gave her a treat of some kind. Her spirit quickly lifted up and she was happy as we walked on, as I teased and played with her, and her mood changed and was causing her to laugh and to be happy. Within a few minutes a truck from our outfit came along and stopped to pick us up. These were the hands that gave her a warm, friendly hug and sit her back down on the roadway.
As we all jumped in the back of the truck and begin pulling away, I have still a vivid image in my mind’s eye of this little girl running behind through the swirling dust, trying to catch up with the truck we were in. Her little arms outstretched and with tears streaming down her face, she was crying out, “Abahgy, abahgy, abahgy”. When we got back to our outfit, I looked up a Korean interpreter and asked him what Abahgy meant. He said in meant Daddy! My mind and heart have gone back to that image thousands of times over the years. It has always indicated to me how little it takes in showing just the smallest bit of kindness, love and care for another, especially where there is none, to impact and give comfort to another human being like ourselves when they are in desperate need to be noticed and cared for. More evidence of the mysterious ways of our God whom brings things such as this into our lives, hopefully to help us see hope, care and compassion in the midst of the insanity of war.
These are the hands: that took part in an assault on a Chinese held hill one day in February 1951. We were able finally with our artillery shelling and heavy Air Force and Marine bombardment to shake them loose and run them off. As we crested the hill, I noticed three Chinese soldiers slogging along through the deep snow while high tailing it out of the area but lagging behind. At the time I was carrying a carbine with two banana clips taped back to back which would fire fully automatic a total of 15 rounds each. It was a good close in weapon. I got them in my sights and pulled the trigger on them, expecting them to fall dead on the ground. I didn’t even hit one of them, or at least, they didn’t even flinch. I was aggravated and disgusted at myself, for the rest of the day. I was always a good shot and had learned to hunt at an early age. However, I was not a good enough shot to do the job or they were out of range for the carbine. I was letting my comrades down by not being able to kill them. We would most likely have to face the same three tomorrow. They might end a comrade’s chance to live, or my own life.
The next day as we took another hill, the soldier a few feet ahead and to the right of me was hit and dropped stone cold dead in his tracks. After making sure he was dead I threw down my carbine by his side and picked up the 30 caliber M-1 he had carried. It was much heavier along with the ammo that needed to be carried with it, but there would be no more Chinese enemy soldiers that could out distant this one. These hands immediately felt more secure and in control as we pushed on from one hill to the next. Leaving a path of death and destruction along the way, both our dead and theirs.
In time after many years these are the hands that began to seek and search out the will and truth of God on these things of human nature. God it seems had inflicted me with a spiritual awakening by having to go through hell on earth during the coldest Korean winter in a hundred years. Being a part of the kill or be killed insanity of a bloody war in a land we had never heard of before. I had to learn that Satan is the god of this world that deceives us into following after his way as opposed to the way of the righteousness of Almighty God. As can be seen here in 2nd Corinthians. In their case the god of this world has blinded the minds of the unbelievers, to keep them from seeing the light of the gospel of the glory of Christ, who is the image of God. ( 2nd Corinthians 4:4 )
A way of killing and destruction, a way of misuse and horror on mankind. God continues to allow for the time being, all that is happening around us in this present evil world. Have we not noticed how far down the tube our society has fallen into immorality and away from a God centered way of life? God eventually will let us reach the point of no return and bring it all down around our ears. It has all been fore planned in advance by God that knows the end from the beginning. May the true Word of God become a trusted companion that you look to for understanding His desire for all of mankind. Never mind what your minister, the church or religions that do not know themselves, tell you. Read widely and trust the Holy Spirit to lead you into all truth as the word of God instructs.
As Christ has revealed more truth to me; I then become able to see with the spiritual eyes given to those whom do believe and accept His truth. These are the hands that now spend long hours each day in seeking and searching out truth to pass on to others through our own website, www.thetruthstandsout.com Or just Google my name: Leith Lyman Cunningham. Others too that have grown weary of being fed from the table of demons, known as the Babylon of confusion or mainstream Christianity. (all one and the same that preach and teach after the custom, ritual and traditions of men while being in unbelief of the awesome truth of God) We have many other websites, that do preach and teach the truth of God listed down on our website. ( in the area listed as helpful websites ) Where we all may learn that which God commands us to come out of in Revelation 18:4. And I heard another voice from heaven, saying, Come out of her, my people, that ye be not partakers of her sins, and that ye receive not of her plagues.
These are not suggestions dear people. The time has come and is now here, that the truth is beginning to be recognized as more and more dedicated, convicted and steadfast believers and followers of Jesus Christ are finding out and writing about the truth of God too. Many of these individuals are posting the revealed truth of God on their websites for the benefit of all to peruse and make their own decisions on the content. To accept or reject according as the Holy Spirit leads one to do. These hands will continue on revealing this truth as long as God continues to reveal it to me, and I have the ability and wherewithal to do it.
These hands: are being raised in thankfulness and gratefulness to God for opening my mind and allowing me to see what many others cannot yet see, and refuse to believe. The scales are beginning to drop off my eyes and my ears are becoming unstopped. Like Saul of Tarsus on the road to Damascus, but at a much slower pace, for which I thank God, I would not have been able to bear it all at once! It is a wonderful thing when the light begins to shine through and enlighten your heart, mind and being. I thank God that I am now able to see more with spiritual eyes, hear more with spiritual ears. I look back and remember those three Chinese enemy soldiers. It makes me feel good that I missed them now, I like to think that back in China somewhere there are three old Chinese soldiers of the past that made it home to their loving mothers and family. That I didn’t cut their lives short in the miserable snow covered below zero, bone numbing weather in the hills and frozen mountains of Korea. A bunch of kids like ourselves that were sent there to kill us while under the rule of the god of this world, we were sent there to kill and destroy them.
These are the hands: that took part in all of the savagery and brutality that goes along with war. These same hands at times had to wipe away tears from my eyes as I looked first hand at the horrors of war and its effect on human beings. Such as the young soldier that was evacuated back to the states on the same plane as myself, whose bottom jaw had been shot away and all he wanted to do was talk because he was glad to be going home. But I couldn’t understand a word he was saying, which came gurgling out of a hole in his neck, where his jaw used to be. I have always wondered how long it was after his girlfriend got her first look at him; whether she stayed on or found greener pastures? Or another young red-haired boy sitting in the isle in a strait jacket, all bound up like a wild animal. Whose mind had completely gone out of the human realm. Having gone through the mind-bending sights and sounds of an insane war. Acting more like a mad dog than a human-being, and would snap and snarl at anyone close to him. A pilot lay in the isle as well, in a full body cast, the only thing being exposed was his face and a hole big enough to eliminate waste from. The smell coming from him rotting inside that cast was unbearable at times. As others throughout the plane in casts were in a similar situation as well. Soldiers horribly wounded with body parts hanging limp by their sides and that thousand-yard stare in their eyes. While thousands of miles away the leaders of nations sit at their desks in comfort and plenty, drinking Champaign while putting their pins in maps of the world wherever they decide the signing the next declaration of war should be..
I recall days on the front-line before this in the combat zone, crossing this marshy, shallow body of water where the enemy had been caught in a cross fire the day before. We had laid down extremely heavy machine gun fire and mortar attacks, along with Marine Corsair fighter bomber attacks and heavy rifle fire as well. A dozen or so, probably more, dead enemy soldiers who had been mortally wounded and left there to fend for themselves and to die alone. In the most miserable, impossible, bone numbing environment of fighting in the coldest Korean weather in over a hundred years. Some frozen stiff all slumped over with only their backs exposed, but others up to their chest or waist in the water. Frozen solid now by the bone numbing below zero temperature. Their sightless eyes peering off into space as we looked upon their blood stained and bullet riddled uniforms as they had sucked in their last painful breaths of life, before their spirits had returned back to God whom had given them. As the tools that God has given you to fight and die with if necessary; your hands grip your own weapons even tighter, as your mind records an image of the painful death of others that you had a part in that will never leave you. Where you just have to try and blank out all of the insanity and brutality of men killing men in the most horrible and ungodly ways imaginable.
These are the hands: that were carried by other hands and loaded on a plane in Wonju, Korea. Along with other wounded men on March 9th 1951. Leaving that hell hole of frozen, half-starved mangled and bloody bodies, to land in Osaka, Japan and be carried into a warm and comfortable hospital with plenty of good food. At barely a hundred pounds, after every ounce of strength and energy had been extracted from me that was possible and yet still be alive. To date it was the happiest day of my life. I had expected to die there on the battlefields of Korea, but looking back now it seems that God had other plans for me. I was flown back to the good old USA in a few weeks to eventually end up in Percy Jones Army Hospital in Battle Creek, Michigan. After being there for a few more weeks, eating plenty of good food and getting all fattened up to 112 pounds, my folks and wife to be came down and visited me. Being skin stretched over bone yet, they could barely recognize me. This it turns out was just another segment of my life that God has used to teach me lessons that I could not have learned in any other way. Very few people on this good earth will ever appreciate, be thankful and grateful for warmth, plenty of good food, the safety of home and not being shot at, more than I do. Thanks be to Almighty God of all heaven and earth.
These are the hands: that can be callus and brutal and at the same time be gentle and loving enough to hold and cuddle a baby. These hands were willing and used as tools to fight and to die if necessary, to preserve the freedom of our nation. These same hands were used to hug, comfort and hold a sobbing little eight-year-old granddaughter who had revealed to me how she had been sexually molested by her mother’s live in policeman boyfriend. These hands spent countless hours on an ongoing and continued effort to help, hold and love this precious little granddaughter whom had been taken advantage of by someone who should have been protecting her. The longer I live the more I can recognize whom it is that rules this present evil world. Under the sway of Satan, the devil. Things will only get worse until God decides it is time to shake the world to its foundations. Make no mistake about it, Satan can go only so far as God will allow, it is God who is in absolute and total control of everything and all of the time. Is it time we get our ducks in a row? I believe it might be! It is not a “I wonder if God will intervene with this perverse society we now live in, and shake it to its foundation” That is something that believers of the Word of God know for absolute certain and for sure, it is beyond any doubt going to happen. It is just a matter of when will God give us enough rope to hang ourselves, before that intervention?
These are the hands: that God used one warm sunny day to turn an almost certain tragedy into a happy and joyful experience. Myself, my wife, our daughter and son and their two friends ages fifteen to seventeen were in the middle of a fun canoe trip down the fast-moving current of the Manistee river. The boys were ahead and horsing around tipping over and splashing each other as they went. Nancy and I followed along with all of the food and supplies in our canoe as the girls came along behind. We didn’t think nothing about it as Lee and Guy some twenty or thirty feet ahead of us tipped over again, as their canoe began to turn sideways in the river. When we reached the spot where they had turned over, something under the surface caught our canoe too, turning it sideways and turning it over as well.
Their canoe now cross ways in the river, lodged against something solid, about half or two thirds submerged with the full force of the river holding it steady there. Guy was standing between their canoe and ours that had now swung around and had tossed Nancy out and she too ended up with Guy between the two canoes that were being sucked together in a vise like grip on both of them. In an instant an impossible disaster had developed that needed to be dealt with. I was in my thirties yet and very strong but couldn’t budge at all the canoe that was gripping them tighter every moment and causing them great pain, Possible death by drowning or their being ripped apart when the canoes would finally dislodge themselves became a thought in my mind causing great anxiety and now even terror.
Somehow or in some way God either gave me an added strength to finally begin to move the canoe to set them free, or He just had my angel do it for us, or He did it Himself, I tend to believe the latter. We gathered up what we could of what was left that had not floated on down the river, continued on our way and the near tragedy soon faded from our minds as the fun and excitement resumed as before. So great was the tremendous pressure on Nancy and Guy caught between the canoes, that the mark of the keel against Guys leg remained there for months and even years afterward. I shudder yet as I look back and realize how close we came to tragedy and even death. And how much we always need God in our lives looking after us in situations such as this that we put ourselves into.
I am grateful and thankful for all of the many times that God may have intervened unbeknownst to us, to preserve our lives at those times we were not able to do so ourselves. None of it is by accident however, God has a purpose and a plan He is working out in the life of every human being ever born on this earth. You saw me before I was born. Every day of my life was recorded in your book. Every moment was laid out before a single day had passed. (Psalm 139:16 NLT) You have decided the length of our lives. You know how many months we will live, and we are not given a minute longer. (Job 14: 5 NLT) I learned on this day to have more respect for the Manistee river, as well as all of the other awesome power and might that God has created and put here on earth for our enjoyment and wellbeing, that needs to be approached with caution.
These are the hands: of the past that were too quick to frequent the bar scene and end up staying there until closing time. Spending money on things I didn’t need, doing things I should not have been doing. Raising hell and in the belief, I was having a good time. Learning well what the party scene consequences will produce. Causing all of my hard work along with that of my wife and mother of our two kids, to evaporate and to dissipate into thin air. Losing everything we owned and worked hard for three different times. The first time it was a house full of furniture and an automobile. The second time it was the home we were buying along with everything else we owned, including the furniture and automobile. The third time was just more stupidity of learning the lessons of life.
I had hit and knocked my boss that was thumping me on the chest with his extended fingers, thru a glass window into his office. He had gotten cut up pretty badly and wanted to get even by making me pay for his own mistake by assuming I would just stand there and take his abuse. He fired me and sued me for five thousand dollars. And even though he had laid his hands on me first and couldn’t get any money for his dirty work. We had to hang our heads and ask our parents to help. God was showing me all of the grunge, filth and corruption this world under the influence of Satan has to offer. I was arriving at the point that I wanted to vomit it all away. It was as if God had rolled up His sleeves, reached all the way down to the bottom where He found me crawling along on my belly in the slime. He symbolically grabbed me by the scruff of the neck and brought me up to the surface and began to strip away the accumulated filth of this world. I like to imagine He even run me through one of those high-pressure supernatural car washes to clean me up and jump start a change of direction in my life.
It doesn’t all happen at once, it took a number of years for me to sink to the bottom, I should expect the turn around that I was making; to take a while as well, to achieve. I did make a commitment to turn and go another way, the way I was going was not working. Albert Einstein has been quoted as saying, “Insanity is, doing the same thing over and over again and expecting things to change.” I began to recognize that I could not run my own life and that of my wife and children in an acceptable way that would produce the kind of life and lifestyle we should be able to expect during our lifetime here on earth. One that would produce the good things that families all dream of. I turned my life over to God; I now count on and expect Him to lead me where ever it is that He would have me to be. I know that He accepts all responsibility for all of creation. I place myself within His responsibility, within His loving and tender care. I am still in that same battle as all the rest of humanity has to deal with, as I face the challenges of life, the difference now is I have a faith and confidence beyond myself. I have subjected myself to the One whom has the power and authority to bring all things to a successful conclusion. I raise these hands in total and complete gratefulness and thanksgiving for all that the Almighty God of all creation has bestowed upon myself and my family.
These are the hands: that again and again have been slapped down hard by God in an effort to drive my stubborn heart in a different direction. Correction that I did not like at the time, but have learned to accept and appreciate it, to be thankful and grateful that God loves me enough as a son, to guide and direct me in the direction that He would have me go. because the Lord disciplines those he loves, and he punishes everyone he accepts as a son.” (Hebrews 12:6) And again over in Revelation. Those whom I love I rebuke and discipline. So be earnest, and repent. (Revelation 3:19) Everything that God does to us or for us is for our own wellbeing. My son, do not despise the LORD’s discipline and do not resent his rebuke, (Proverbs 3:11) We receive many blessings through discipline and correction. Blessed is the man you discipline, O LORD, the man you teach from your law; (Psalm 94:12) God is teaching us to plow in due season, to work today according to His Word, if we expect to reap the benefits at the harvest. If you are too lazy to plow in the right season, you will have no food at the harvest. (Proverbs 20: 4) Do we aspire to be the many being called, or the few to be chosen? The elect will have done their plowing in due season. The elect will not doubt or deny the word of God.
These same hands: became high level entertainment and fun to many kids down through the years at Spring Lake outside of Fife Lake, Michigan. As a never-ending line up of little kids at the lake with my own grand-kids would be waiting their turn to be tossed into the water. I fondly remember their friendly faces and excited voices as they would yell out, “do me next grandpa, do me next.” It will remain a pleasant memory in my mind and heart forever. Thank you, God, for these hands and the desire to use them for the benefit of and for the enjoyment of such a beautiful and playful bunch of little kids. Whose happy giggles and laughter still echo in my ears, even their mothers began to call me grandpa. These hands applaud all that which is good and upright for all concerned. The joy and laughter of little kids having carefree fun as they romp and play with others, is like pleasant music to my ears. May your kingdom come. May your will be done, on earth as it is in heaven. (Matthew 6:10) And believe me when I tell you, it will come. That is what God has promised and He cannot lie. We are not going to heaven to live with God. God is coming here to live with and in us.
These are the hands: that at the present time spend as much time as possible with our latest little pride and joy great granddaughter Mackenna. She is the apple of my eye these days, but I never call her by her real name, she has always been New-pea to me, I nick name all of my grand-kids. Her mom Jessica to me is “Gumdrop” and they both are very special to me. I have taught New-pea a few different sentences in other languages, she learns quickly and uses those languages whenever I prompt her to. It’s a big hit with all of our friends and relatives and in the restaurants that we go to eat in with her. Her favorites are, “dough mottie got toe” Thank you in Japanese, or “dough tah ishy mawch tah” Your welcome in Japanese. New-pea is an ongoing barrel of laughs at her tender age of almost six years old. We sing many different songs together that I have taught her and she sings a lot more that her mom has taught her. A couple of her favorite songs she likes to sing are two I made up for her.
Born on a mountain top in Tennessee, Greenest state in the land of the free, Killed her first rabbit at the age of three, New-pea, New-pea Miela, The princess of the wild frontier. Or, fishy fishy in the brook, Papa catch em with a hook, Mama fry em in a pan, New-pea eat em like a man.
She likes them because her name is in them, she never gets tired of singing those songs together with me. Nancy takes care of New-pea a couple times a week and she likes being outside better than anything. We’ll romp and play together in the high grass in our yard, while I have to find a way to let her be the one that is spending all of the energy. Grandma will need a break at times and I will pile New-pea into our pickup and go looking for animals around the country side. She likes the pick up because she can sit up front and see what’s going on. A couple week ago we were on such an excursion and she suddenly shouted out, GRANDPA! Stop and back up I just seen two deer hugging each other. I backed up as ordered but no deer were visible. A little way down the two-track road and she yelled out again, GRANDPA! Stop and back up again, I really did see something this time. I asked her what it was that she saw? She said, “I think it was an elephant”.
These are the hands: that dug for buried treasure on the shores of Lake Michigan. Back when my niece and nephew, Kim and Jeff were about six and eight years old. We would go over to Elk Rapids and visit their mother Linda. While Nancy would visit with Linda, I would take the kids down to the lake shore and dig for buried treasure. I knew I would be able to find lots of it, because I had my pockets filled with it ahead of time. We would all pick a good-looking spot and begin digging. After we each had a nice big hole dug out, I would announce that I thought I was onto something. Kim and Jeff would rush right over to my hole in time to see me pull out a jack knife, a fifty-cent piece, or maybe even a five-dollar bill, whatever I had taken that day to salt the mine with.
Since I was the only one finding any treasure, it wouldn’t be long before one or the other would ask to trade holes. “Uncle Lee, can we change holes”? I would explain to them that they had a good hole going and might be right on the verge of finding valuable treasure. But they still wanted to trade. And wouldn’t you almost have guessed it, within a few minutes after trading holes I would announce I thought I was unto something in the hole they had just traded off. They would gather around again and watch as I pulled new treasure out of their old hole. Even though neither one ever found any treasure, they didn’t become discouraged and was always up for another happy and joyful day at the beach searching for it.
These are the hands: that after another few years had gone by, would climb the big old pine tree in our front yard, playing hide and seek with my granddaughter Heather and grandson Lee, at about that same age level. They would beg me to play and since it was so much fun, I always agreed to do it. They would both hide their eyes and give me time to hide. I would climb high up into the old pine tree where I could see most all of our yard and tell where they were at, at all times. I would sit up in the tree and rest as they spent their energy running around, back and forth, hither and yon, looking for me, and wanting me to make some noise. When they were on the other side of the yard, I would cup my hand oven one side of my mouth, throwing my voice in a different direction. And watch as they would run like crazy trying to find me. Sometimes I would almost fall out of the tree laughing at them. This would go on until they had gotten a lot of exercise looking for me. Yelling out, I’m over here occasionally to keep them stirred up and looking. After a while I would climb down when they weren’t around and I never gave my position away. These are the kind of memories built over a lifetime, to reflect back upon and draw strength from, during those times when things may not be going so well.
These are the hands that met with awkward moments at times that needed to be dealt with too.
My granddaughter Heather and I interacted together often, since she was about eight years old. We had a very close grandpa, granddaughter relationship. We had started walking the Mackinaw Bridge a few years before on Labor Day, between lower and upper Michigan. Which had become a state custom for many years. We would get up early and drive to Mackinaw City. They would have school buses from all the area schools to bus us over the bridge to the St Ignace side, after we had parked our vehicle on the Mackinaw City side of the bridge. This time Heather was about seventeen years old. About the time we were getting ready to start the bridge walk back to where our vehicle was parked, Heather came to me and announced, “grandpa, I have a problem”.
I asked her what it was and she told me she had started her period and didn’t have anything with her to deal with it. We were too far away to walk to any store and our vehicle was on the other side of the Mackinaw bridge. Heather was in a dither and something needed to be done fairly soon. I went over to the information counter where two older women were working and told them our dilemma. They told me they were too old and past that stage of life. But one of them went away and brought me back about a hundred paper towels. I had not had much expertise in this area of female dealings, but it really didn’t seem to be the answer.
When Heather seen them, I thought for a minute she was going to turn green and faint. Heather was still somewhat shy and embarrassed in this area and reluctant to ask anyone for help. I looked around trying to figure out a solution for the problem at hand. A young couple had just gotten out of a camper and were heading our way. As they came closer, I approached the young wife or girlfriend and asked her to help us out of a problem, as the husband looked on in a somewhat questioning fashion. I told her Heather’s problem and how our vehicle was parked on the other side of the bridge, and being too far away from any store within walking distance. I asked her if she had anything with her that could relieve this awkward situation. She didn’t miss a beat, nor was she offended in any way. She asked Heather to go back with her to their camper and within a few minutes they came back all smiles and Heather was as happy as a woodpecker in a lumber yard. It made this old man happy too and we went on to have one more memorable bridge walk under our belt. Thank you, God, for pleasant and understanding people that you have placed among-st us. And thank you again for the communication skills you have given me to get the job done, without getting body slammed on the pavement by an irate wife or her husband.
These are the hands: that on the 2nd of July 2006, raced into our home for a knife to cut down our nearly twenty-one-year-old granddaughter Angela, who had hung herself on the big white pine tree in our front yard. I had been out looking for her along with her mother, our daughter. When I turned the corner about midnight, coming into our yard, the lights from my car shined on her body hanging from the tree. I ran to her and she was cold, it was obvious she was dead. I wanted to get her cut down before her mother got there that was close behind me. I didn’t want her to see her daughter in this lasting image to remember. There are not sufficient words in my vocabulary to describe the emotional pain and suffering that our family went through at the time and that continues on today over six years later. The cops came and made it even worse. I had bailed Angela (our granddaughter) out of jail and had brought her to our place to try and help her. She had been stubborn and rebellious and refused to give me the name of her cocaine supplier. ( you don’t suppose she was taking after her grandfather in this stubborn streak, do you? ) I told her if she continued to refuse, I would take her back to jail, it would have meant to me she wasn’t through using it and wanted to keep the lines open. She took great personal pride in protecting a dope dealer that would no doubt continue to ruin the lives of many of those same young people she had gone to school with. Giving her own life to keep from exposing the dregs of society, while turning her addicted back on all of those whom had loved her.
These are the hands: that went into her room with the cops to see if she had left any kind of note behind. Turning and looking into a spiral bound notebook to the page she had written, “No one is going to make me do anything I don’t want to do.” She had left the note for her mother as she told her also that her father was an ass hole. It was here that she evidently decided she would give up her life for a dope dealer. So, ten days after we had gotten her out of jail and had brought her to our home to help her. Taking her on a regular basis for her pee testing in Traverse City, as well as other destinations required, loving her and showing her kindness as we always had. But at the same time expecting certain things from her as well. She repays us for our help by taking her own life. It has taken me a long time to digest this and feel as I should about it. We have to remember the good times as a child when she was growing up, before she entered the drug scene, and all the fun she was to have around in those days. I have learned to very much appreciate the fact that Jesus Christ, the one that God has given all power in heaven and earth, is in control of all things. He had the power and authority to stop her, yet didn’t. A clear indication that it was Angela’s allotted time on this earth. That her spirit return back from whence it came, to be absorbed back into God whom had given it.
These are the hands: that on December 22, 1961 held the hand of my dear close brother Glade, who lay in bed in the recovery room of the Veterans Hospital in Durham North Carolina. After a botched operation to remove a brain tumor. They had damaged to much of his brain attempting to remove the tumor and he lay bleeding to death after he had been transfused with an unbelievable number of units of blood. They just finally stopped and let him bleed out. As tears welled up in his eyes and rolled down his cheeks. He was unable to speak but I knew he was aware of me being there, as he choked and gurgled out his last breath of life. My hands, nor my heart didn’t know what to do next. I went to the chapel there within the hospital as my hands tried to turn to some comfort in a bible that lay open on the podium. I had not much considered God in my life prior to this point in time. I remained in numb confusion, but knew also that my hands, body and soul would soon be required to offer comfort to his widow and his three little kids he was leaving behind. It was a very hard time in my life. The all to vivid memory lingers on as I await a future reunion together with him in the promised hereafter. What an awesome purpose and plan our God has worked out for all of mankind. Who will have all men to be saved, and to come unto the knowledge of the truth. (1 Timothy 2:4)
Thirty-five years later in a long-term care hospital unit in Kalkaska, Michigan. These are the hands that held my dear old mothers’ hand on her death bed. She knew the end of her life was very near, she had given me the legal power to pull the plug when necessary. She knew well that I understood her last wishes. She had the faith and confidence that I would not allow her to suffer on needlessly when this time came. As she lay dying, I leaned over and whispered in her ear. “Ma I’ll bet I could beat you cleaning fish now.” She managed a weak little grin and said, “Maybe you could now.” It was a long-standing joke between us, I whispered again, “Ma you’ve been a really good old Ma.” She died soon after in the night. I had requested that her doctor keep her as comfortable as possible, not to perform any heroics, let her spirit return to God peacefully. These are the hands that stood in the same hospital a few years earlier as I tried to comfort my granddaughter Heather, as we stood together in the recovery room beside the gurney where her six-year-old little brother had been pronounced dead from an automobile accident. These same hands had the honor and privilege many years later to walk Heather down the aisle and give her away as she married her husband Ben.
These are the hands: that held and gave comfort to our daughter and her three girls when her mate and their daddy dropped dead in front of them in their living room, caused by a massive heart attack. These are the same hands that still today are heavily involved in loving care and concern and support in looking out for them a decade and more later, as grown, adult kids. These are the hands that promised our daughter the night that he died, to be there as long as it takes or as long as we’re able. These are the hands that continue doing that on a regular daily basis. These are the hands that held, hugged, cuddled and loved another little granddaughter Jessica, Angela’s little sister. On a sustained daily basis our emotionally fragile little granddaughter who had decided life wasn’t worth living any longer and had attempted to commit suicide. We were there then, we are still there today, we’ll be there tomorrow if God be willing. Under the guidance of God these hands are in constant and steady service to Him.
These are the hands: that put the ring on the finger of my lovely bride to be on our wedding day, November 10, 1951. These are the hands that held hers during courtship before marriage and still enjoy more than ever to hold her hand today. These are the hands that brings her flowers on a regular basis and on our just past sixty-first wedding anniversary presented her with a bouquet of 61 pink and white carnations. One for each year of our marriage. These are the hands along with hers and our kids that worked for many years building and paying for a nice warm, comfortable home. To be a stable place for our kids and grand-kids and now our great grand-kids to come to and be safe and feel loved. These are the hands that find things on a regular daily basis to do that take a work load off my wife. These are also the hands that applaud other folks who step forward to serve with a helping hand in support and encouragement of others. May the God of all heaven and earth continue to supply us with the needed effort and energy to keep our commitment to our family as they need it. These old arthritic hands are filled these days with excruciating pain most all of the time. I have to ask others to open jars and take tops off things that I can no longer remove. Yet when I look at them and review all of the things they have gone through in service to God, to my family and to our country. I stand in awe and amazement of the tools that God has given me, that now eighty-seven years later, “have taken a lickin and have kept on tickin”. Thank you, Almighty God.
These are the hands: that held my wife so many years later and tried to give comfort and support to her as the doctors told her she needed heart bypass surgery during the year 2010. Then later at home after her hospital recovery period, these hands served me well in taking on the role of chief cook and bottle washer. I was able with the help of God to manage and look after her, keep up the wash, the housekeeping, as well as doing all of the cooking and keeping the place in the good order that she had always been able to do. Then in the following year of 2011, we learned she had developed lung cancer and needed to deal with that. After having the upper lobe of her left lung removed, along with a portion of the bottom. Again, these are the hands that stepped up to the plate in the same fashion to be there when needed to offer support and encouragement. To help her to get her mind and heart going in the right direction. I was able again with the help of God to bring positive things to her mind and put them in a scrapbook for her to revisit from time to time to keep her spirit up. These are the hands that brought her home and looked after her needs in recovery as she slowly began to regain her strength. I thank God that he gave me the strength to do it all over again. I found that we can usually do a lot more than we give ourselves credit for, when called upon to help ourselves, our families or others in need.
These are the hands: that God predetermined to use before I was ever born on this earth. God who knows the end from the beginning brought about all of the things in my life that prepared me to be doing the things I am now doing. You made all the delicate, inner parts of my body and knit me together in my mother’s womb. Thank you for making me so wonderfully complex! Your workmanship is marvelous – and how well I know it. You watched me while I was being formed in utter seclusion, as I was woven together in the dark of the womb. You saw me before I was born. Every day of my life was recorded in your book. Every moment was laid out before a single day had passed. (Psalms 139:13 -16 NLT) Then right down to the grand finale, as our spirit returns back to God whom had given it. You have decided the length of our lives. You know how many months we will live, and we are not given a minute longer. (Job 14:5 NLT) God knew that even though I would someday be old, that I would need to learn computer skills in order to be on the internet and to teach His people around the world the wonderful truth that He has left recorded in the pages of our bible.
So, He kept sending my beautiful young granddaughters to our home for disciplinary purposes, knowing they were computer skilled and would pass that knowledge on to me. At one time all three were at our home at once. I overheard Ashley one time tell her friends, “We have been cut off from the outside world”. The last one required to stay with us was “Little Jessica” whom I love dearly. She had an extra streak of stubbornness that required a little extra thought in helping her to overcome it. I nailed a chair and made a couple platforms up in the big pine tree in our yard for her to go to for solitude and to contemplate life’s issues. I made a sign and nailed it there too. It read, “Effie’s Place”. By the time she had grown up, she had to spend time at our place five different times. At one time she had to dig a hole six-foot square and six-foot-deep to bury a raccoon. We developed a chant to help her with the job, as she would dance around singing, bury the coon, bury the coon, bury the coon etc. Our place became known as “Camp Cunningham”. These are the hands that diligently spend many hours a day seeking and searching out the deeper truths of God to pass on to all those willing to receive it, to all of those that God has called and chosen to be set aside, to be His elect. To be those that will rule with His Son Jesus Christ during the thousand-year reign known as the millennium. These are the hands that must be at learning the truth of God now in our present time segment, to prepare ourselves to guide, direct and teach others during the millennium. These are the hands that have developed a passion for doing it. Our entire religious system refuses to believe God though. Will you believe? These are the hands that have signed on for being an ambassador for Jesus Christ. What exactly does that mean you might ask?
Ambassador: To be faithful to the person who has sent you: Which is Jesus Christ. Not to become entangled with the customs, rituals and traditions where you have been sent: To this present world. Return to your homeland at the appointed time: And the spirit shall return to God who gave it.
As an ambassador I represent a different kingdom, apart from the one that I am living in. I am an ambassador for the kingdom of God. I avoid the custom, ritual and traditions of this world that have their roots in paganism. I avoid getting caught up in the ways of this world. The word of God tells us that we are not of this world. If ye were of the world, the world would love his own: but because ye are not of the world, but I have chosen you out of the world, therefore the world hateth you. (John 15:19) It is something we should become accustomed to, the world for the most part does not want to know or bother learning the truth of God. Do not conform any longer to the pattern of this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind. Then you will be able to test and approve what God’s will is–his good, pleasing and perfect will. (Romans 12: 2) We are not supposed to conform to the customs, rituals and traditions of this world.
To do so separates us from a proper relationship with God. 14 I have given them your word and the world has hated them, for they are not of the world any more than I am of the world. They are not interested in hearing, accepting or believing the true word of God. And because they have not received the love of the truth, God shall send them strong delusion that they should believe a lie. (See 2nd Thessalonians 2:11) 15 My prayer is not that you take them out of the world but that you protect them from the evil one. 16 They are not of the world, even as I am not of it. (John 17: 14, 15 and 16)
These are important and true words of inspiration directly from the word of God. Again, my friends, my brothers and sisters in Christ, these are not suggestions, we are to be transformed by these words inspired by God. These hands with the help of Jesus Christ who lives in me, will continue to seek and to search out the truth that is missing in Christian churches around the world. May you whom read these words find solace, wisdom and understanding as you decide to go forward in following after the word of God as opposed to continue eating at the table of demons. It is through Jesus Christ alone that all of mankind can and will be saved. There is no other name in all heaven or earth to call upon to be saved. It would be an operation of futility to suppose otherwise. We must call upon and depend upon Christ alone to do as He tells us He will do. There should never be the slightest doubt or question on the promises of God that we see here. In hope of eternal life, which God, that cannot lie, promised before the world began; (Titus 1:2)
These are the now eighty-seven-year-old hands: I look at every day and marvel at their continued usefulness. How they are able yet to serve the purpose for which they were put at the end of my arms for. They are somewhat shriveled up and bony looking, with the liver spots of old age all over their backs, they get colder now and the strength that once was in them has diminished and arthritis has moved in and makes me head more often for the Motrin or Tylenol bottles in the medicine cabinet. But do you know what else it does for me? It doesn’t bother me in the least that they are on their way to a permanent retirement. Because that is exactly what they are supposed to do eventually. The word of God tells us that the flesh profits nothing. It is the spirit who gives life. The flesh profits nothing. The words that I speak to you are spirit, and are life. (John 6:63) We all within the prearranged timetable of God will be given an immortal, spirit body to replace this physical one that returns to the dust from which it came. A perfect body that will never wear out, diminish in power, strength or usefulness in the kingdom of God, it is a done deal. You saw me before I was born. Every day of my life was recorded in your book. Every moment was laid out before a single day had passed. (Psalms 139:16 NLT) You have decided the length of our lives. You know how many months we will live, and we are not given a minute longer. (Job 14: 5 NLT)
These are the hands: that give all honor and glory to the God of all heaven and earth. These are the hands that I willingly and gladly raise in allegiance and support of our Almighty God, our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ and the Holy Spirit that leads us into all truth. These are the same hands I raise in defiance and resistance against Satan and his demons, and all that he stands for. These are the hands I pray and thank God for sending His Son Jesus Christ to die in our stead so that all of mankind will be forgiven and belong in His kingdom. Where pain suffering and death no longer exist. Where the misguided rule of man under the influence of Satan the devil can no longer reach. It will be a long-gone thing of the past. These are the hands that I ask God to forgive when they have done wrong, and I know that it has already been done because He has removed our sins as far away as the east is from the west. As far as east is from west— that’s how far God has removed our sin from us. (Psalm 103:12) It is not something that is going to be done, it has already been done. These are the hands that I ask God to bless while being in helpful service to others. And these are the hands that I thank God for giving to me and making them work the way that they do.
These are the hands: of Jesus Christ, as I am in His body and He is in me. God has given Christ all power in heaven and upon the earth. (Matthew 28:18) He is in absolute and total control of everything and all of the time. Christ accepts all responsibility for these hands. These are the physical hands given to me and put into His service at birth. These are the hands that shall in the resurrection be changed into immortal, spiritual hands. Hands that shall never grow old, shrivel and wither up or be inflicted with disease. These immortal, spirit charged hands will never tire, these hands will never again experience weakness or lack of omnipotent strength such as our Father God has. The work that God has begun in these hands will have come to completion. Serving in His kingdom throughout all eternity. My heart, mind, and being, live in anxious anticipation and awesome wonderment, as I contemplate what magnificent plans it is that God has put into place that awaits us all as we read the conclusion here in (1st Corinthians.)
(1 Corinthians 15: 22- 28) For as in Adam all die, so in Christ all will be made alive. (The exact same all that die will all be made alive) 23 But each in their own turn: Christ, the firstfruits; then, when he comes, those who belong to him. 24 Then the end will come, when he hands over the kingdom to God the Father after he has destroyed all dominion, authority and power. 25 For he must reign until he has put all his enemies under his feet. 26 The last enemy to be destroyed is death. (after death has been destroyed, the only thing left is life) 27 For he “has put everything under his feet.” Now when it says that “everything” has been put under him, it is clear that this does not include God himself, who put everything under Christ. 28 When he has done this, then the Son himself will be made subject to him who put everything under him, so that God may be all in all. Think about it my brothers and sisters, God the Father will be all in all. Not all in some, not all in a few, not even all in many. It behooves us to get this right. God will be all in all. God has given all things into the hands of Jesus Christ, and Christ will not lose one the Father has given him. I give them eternal life, and they shall never perish; no one can snatch them out of my hand. My Father, who has given them to me, is greater than all; no one can snatch them out of my Father’s hand. (John 10: 28 – 29)
“The world can only be grasped by action, not by contemplation. The hand is the cutting edge of the mind.”
Polish-born mathematician and humanist Jacob Bronowski (1908-1974)
Leith Cunningham 1/1/2013 Updated and edited on 12/13/2019
I trust this piece will help the reader become more acquainted with myself and what I believe and teach, which can be seen through my physical journey here on earth. Something that most will be able to relate to their own personal experiences. But in reality, it’s not about me at all. It is all about God, the creator and sustainer of all life, and His purpose and plan for all of mankind and indeed all of His creation. To understand some of the deeper truths of God, I urge you to check out the rest of our website.
www.thetruthstandsout.com or Google: Leith Lyman Cunningham