These hands have been through so much. They have prepared meals and cared for children behind the closed doors of a secret apartment, hidden, fearful, war-weary. They have slowly become more adept at stitching straight seams and as they do, the smiles are more frequent.
These hands hold the hand of a two year old boy who plays quietly near the table. They skillfully stitch seam after seam, piecing fabric strips. They will cradle a newborn in a few short months. The work of these hands will help put food on the table for a growing family.
These hands carry gifts of food to widows in shock and give the warm touch of friendship. They create loveliness from scratch and gently guide new learners to pick up the scraps and craft beauty.
There are other hands - hands that offer toys and hold books and wipe noses; small hands that shape play-dough and push toy trucks; hands that open envelopes and help others to fill out forms.
These are some of our Make Welcome hands - the beautiful hands of the women who come to teach and learn and sew together and care for the children on Fridays. They are sharing, helping, creating, guiding, giving hands. Hands that hold each other in growing friendships across barriers of language and culture. Hands that are Making Welcome. week in and week out.