Home > Articles > Just for Women > "
 

/_.jpg" width=102 height=120 alt="" border=0 align=left hspace=5>
by Amy Nappa


The hands of those I meet are dumbly eloquent to me.
The touch of some hands is an impertinence. I have met people so empty of joy,
that when I clasped their frosty fingertips,it seemed as if
I were shaking hands with a northeast storm. Others there are whose hands
have sunbeams in them, so that their grasp warms my heart.
    (Helen Keller, The Story of My Life)

    “Clarence! I think I heard something!”

    Mrs. Hiller lay in bed, her eyes wide open, and nudged her sleeping husband. Perhaps you’ve been in a similar situation. You wake in the night hearing a noise or feeling as if something isn’t right. That’s exactly what happened to Mrs. Hiller. For some reason she woke up, and as she lay there in the dark, she realized something was wrong. Why was it so dark? Why couldn’t she see the light they always left burning in the hallway?

    She prodded her husband again, and he rolled out of bed to investigate. But as Clarence Hiller reached the head of the stairs, he had an unfortunate rendezvous with a prowler. The two men struggled and fell together down the steps. Gunshots exploded. Mr. Hiller, shot twice, died within moments. At the sound of Mrs. Hiller’s screams, the would-be burglar ran.

    It is not known whether the intruder took anything from the Hillers’ home. But he did leave something of his own at the scene of the crime: his fingerprints. The Hillers’ stair rail had been painted just before the break-in, and in the still-drying paint, an imprint was clear.

    Later that same night, the local police questioned a parolee named Thomas Jennings. Jennings was injured, had a loaded gun, and was on parole for a previous burglary. His fingerprints also matched those left in the Hiller home. Early the next year he was convicted of the murder of Clarence Hiller.

    Sounds like a pretty straightforward, cur-and-dried case, right? Well, it wasn’t in 1910, when the crime took place. At that time, the study of fingerprints in relation to solving crimes was relatively new. It had only been six years earlier, at the 1904 St. Louis World’s Fair, that experts from Scotland Yard had begun training American officers in the craft of identifying criminals by the fingerprints they’d left behind.

    Jennings later appealed to the Supreme Court of Illinois and lost. It was a historic moment. For the first time, the American courts determined that fingerprints were admissible as evidence in a trial.1

You touch something, and a trace of you is left behind.
    According to the courts and scientists everywhere, your fingerprints are yours alone. No one else has the same prints as you; even identical twins have different fingerprints. You touch something, and a trace of you is left behind. Whether you realize it or not, tangible evidence exists that you were at a certain location.

    The words of Jesus in John 14:11 remind us that Jesus’ identity could be traced through the evidence of his actions. When a leper was healed, people knew Jesus had been there. When a hurting heart found forgiveness, there was proof that the voice of Jesus had been heard. The things Jesus did, the miracles he performed, the words he spoke-these were his fingerprints on the world. These touches proved his identity and left evidence that he had touched lives. Even today they are there for us to follow, leading us to the one and only Son of God.

    As women, you and I leave fingerprints on the world. No, I’m not talking about handprints in wet paint, or even messy smudges on windowpanes (although I admit I have a few of those on my kitchen window right now). A woman’s touch can leave fingerprints without physical contact of any kind. We leave our impression on the lives of people around us through our words and actions as well as our physical touch. And just as the fingerprints of Thomas Jennings were unique to him, your touch on the lives of others is like the touch of no one else. The “fingerprints” you leave on someone’s heart can be traced back to no one but you.

    Thomas Jennings’s fingerprints revealed that he was a killer. What do your fingerprints reveal about you? What evidence have you left behind — in your home, your church, your community?

    A woman’s touch can be powerful! Let’s look honestly at our own touches and consider how our words and actions impact those around us. And in the process, we’ll learn how to leave touches that will bring blessing and positive change to the hearts and lives of others, as well as ourselves.

    Heavenly Father, may the traces I leave behind lead others to you.

Believe me when I say that I am in the Father
and the Father is in me, or at least believe on the evidence
of the miracles themselves. (John 14:11)
 

1 The facts on the Hiller story, the case of People v. Jennings, and the 1904 World’s Fair were adapted from Mark A Acree, "People v. Jennings: A Significant Case in American Fingerpint History,” MSFS, University of Alabama at Birmingham. Found on-line at: http://www.iinet.com/market/scafo/library/140401.html
      © From her book, "A Woman's Touch: The Fingerprints Left Behind" © 2001, Howard Publishing Company. Used by permission. This article cannot be reprinted in another publication without written permission of the publisher. Click here to buy this title online!

      Title: ""
      Author: Amy Nappa
      Publication Date: January 17, 2002


 Share with Others  Related Heartlight Resources
_.html" onmouseover="window.status='View a simpler page format that works well with printers.'; return true" onmouseout="window.status=''; return true" title="Printer-friendly Version">Print This ArticlePrint this Article

_.html" target="note" onmouseover="window.status='Send this article to a friend.'; return true" onmouseout="window.status=''; return true" onclick="OpenNoteWindow('');" title="Send this article to a friend.">Send it to a FriendSend it to a Friend

DiscussDiscuss

 


 
 
Many more articles
like this are in the

ARTICLE ARCHIVE

 

_.html" onmouseover="window.status='View a simpler page format that works well with printers.'; return true" onmouseout="window.status=''; return true" title="Printer-friendly Version">Print This ArticlePrint this Article

_.html" target="note" onmouseover="window.status='Send this article to a friend.'; return true" onmouseout="window.status=''; return true" onclick="OpenNoteWindow('');" title="Send this article to a friend.">Send it to a FriendSend it to a Friend

DiscussDiscuss

 Archive Search



 

 
 
----
Today's Pick
A Woman's Touch A Woman's Touch
Amy Nappa
----