"Charm is deceitful, and beauty is vain,
but a woman who fears the LORD is to be praised.
Give her of the fruit of her hands,
and let her works praise her in the gates." Prov. 31:30-31 (ESV)
"She kept her hands very still, wondering at them. They had been so busy with one thing and another in the world, continually shaping something. What many objects had rested against those palms--chair-backs, cups, tennis rackets, the hands of her friends, birds, books, bag-handles, umbrellas, clothes, bedclothes, door-handles, ropes, straps, knives and forks, bowls, pictures, shoes, cushions--oh, everything! and always she had had some purpose, her hands had been doing something, making something that had never been before--not just so. They were always advancing on the void of the future, shaping her future. . . . It was no doubt a thing to wonder at, the significant power of man's hands." Charles Williams, The Greater Trumps, p. 223-224.
I've been reading the novels of Charles Williams this spring. He was a friend of C.S. Lewis and a major influence on some of Lewis' work, especially That Hideous Strength. I was really struck last night by the image of the day-to-day power of our hands to create new situations and arrangements. It reminded me of Adam and Eve's work of naming the animals and tending and extending the garden, subduing the rebellious powers of the earth. Tolkien described us as subcreators in our ability to create new worlds of imagination, story and art. I think Williams catches that vision here and identifies it in the everyday.