The Red Gloves

December 7, 2009 | 30 comments

He calls it The Ten Dollar Challenge — a way to spread joy one $10-bill at a time.

This Christmas season, my friend, Billy Coffey, invited us to carry around $10 and look for an opportunity. What hope might we bring bring to the hopeless? What joy might we bring in this season that — for some — is so full of despair? He asked if we might do it this way:

Ten + ten + ten + ten …

So I stuck a ten-dollar bill in my pocket and carried it around all weekend long, looking for an opportunity. And that money burned red-hot in my pocket.

I considered the elderly woman in Aisle Five at the grocery store. I considered the mother walking into the thrift shop.

I considered the man in the booth next to ours at Taco John’s. He was downtrodden, talking with a friend about losing his road-construction job. I took the money out of my pocket, ready to hand it over to this man on whom I’d eavesdropped.

But I. Just. Couldn’t. Do It.

It just felt wrong. How would he react? Would he feel like a charity project, right there in a public place? Might his embarrassment outweigh my motives? I thought it might. And I know that’s not what Billy intended.

So I brought my ten dollars home. But that money burned still.

***

So I took this pair of gloves — these red-fleece gloves. And I held them in my hands. I thought about Red, and how the Best Gift Ever was wrapped in Crimson-Jesus love — sacrificial love. And my little gift? Such small sacrifice: $10.

But this is how we can spread His love. Ten + ten + ten + ten.


I slipped a ten-dollar bill inside an envelope, and wrote a little note to go with those red gloves:

Dear Friend, You don’t know me. Or maybe you do.

Either way, might you accept this small gift? When you slip on these red gloves, may they serve as a warm reminder that someone in this little community cares.

Throughout this Christmas season, I’ll keep a matching set of red gloves tacked to my bulletin board at home, and every time I see them, I will pray for you. And dear one, might you do the same for me this Christmas each time you pull these gloves over your hands? We could be secret Prayer Partners all season long, couldn’t we?

We don’t know each others’ names — and that’s OK. For we have a God who knows each of us by name. May you find Peace and Hope in that reassurance today.

Grace and Peace from someone who cares


PHOTO: Gloves on my bulletin board (a reminder to pray.)

In a while, I will take this small gift and drive it into town to the local food-pantry. The woman who works there knows another woman who needs $10 and some prayers.

Starting today, someone special in my own community will wear this Red Love. She can take that gift without having to look in the eye of the one who gave it.

And perhaps, when she looks at those gloves, she won’t see my act of giving — but she’ll see the Crimson-Jesus love that motivated it.


This post is part of the Ten Dollar Challenge, hosted by my friend Billy Coffey, a writer from Virginia whose first novel Snow Day will be published by FaithWords in 2010. If you’d like to participate, click on the green-gift button above.

The red-glove gift was inspired by Karen Kingsbury’s Red Gloves series of fiction books. Kingsbury’s series has motivated many readers into service projects called Red Glove Projects, aimed at bringing love to a hurting world. You can find inspiring ways to give Red Glove gifts here at Kingsbury’s site. (Email subscribers may click on the highlighted words within the text, or go here: http://www.karenkingsbury.com/books/redGlovesProjects/ )

by | December 7, 2009 | 30 comments

30 Comments

  1. Billy Coffey

    What a wonderful and heartfelt idea, Jennifer.

    Ten+ten+ten+ten. Yes. That's how His love is spread. And know I'll be praying for both her and you, and I'll be thanking God for the blessing you are.

    Reply
  2. Doug Spurling

    Yes. That is how it's done. One by One. Thank you.

    I pray for you and yours and now for the red-gloved receiver of the gift of love.

    Merry Christmas.

    Reply
  3. Shirley

    Oh my! How utterly awesome is this!

    Last year, my hubby and I saved our change all year and cashed it into a $100 bill that we were going to try to do as you said. We found out that it's NOT that easy to give money away! My hubby finally found a woman, who seemed to have lost her smile, working behind a deli counter at a local grocery store.

    I love the red gloves!

    Reply
  4. Andrea

    How beautiful and blessed both you and the other woman will be. Isn't it awesome how GOD works.
    Blessings,
    andrea

    Reply
  5. Kay

    Wonderful idea and so very insightful of you to preserve the integrity of those who need an extra dose of love from someone. Indeed, sometimes the giver can get in the way of the most wonderful gift. I guess that's part of why God allowed His Son to be born in a humble manger instead of a pretentious palace — so He could then freely invite the shepherds to come and see. They could meet their Redeemer in a stable instead of a palace and keep their dignity in the process.

    Blessing on you and your generous spirit!
    Kay

    Reply
  6. Graceful

    What a totally cool story!

    Reply
  7. Jessica

    Jennifer,

    You are such an inspiration, and I so wish that Iowa and Georgia were nearer neighbors, and that you and I could meet for coffee. I would love to sit and chat with you and allow some of what God has done in you to encourage me, face to face. You are such a beautiful sister, with such a beautiful spirit, and I'm thankful to have "met" you.

    Blessings to you and your family this Christmas season.

    Jessica

    Reply
  8. elizabeth

    Oh I love this idea!!!

    Reply
  9. Sincerely, Jenni

    That is amazing, and brought tears to my eyes thinking how the person who receives those gloves and the $10 will feel. What a heartwarming story. Very admirable.

    Reply
  10. katdish

    Aw, Jennifer…

    I knew you would find a wonderful way to pass on the ten dollar blessing, and I was not disappointed.

    Reply
  11. Rose

    What a wonderful idea. I love things that are creative and bless others. Instead of the usual things people do you found a most special way to bless someone. I will never look at a pair of red gloves the same!
    Thank you!
    Hugs,
    Rose

    Reply
  12. RCUBEs

    Yes, that's how His blessings and love work! The more you share, the more they become abundant! Not only someone's hands would be warm this cold season, but especially her heart…God bless.

    Reply
  13. Catherine

    Oh, what a wonderful way to bless someone, and give them the privelege of being a blessing, too!
    You made someone's day … and mine.
    Blessings,
    Catherine 🙂

    Reply
  14. elaine @ peace for the journey

    A great giving, friend. A blessing to you both for seasons to come.

    peace~elaine

    Reply
  15. Lyla Lindquist

    To do this thing, satisfied to let God do what He will with it . . . no matter the outcome, no matter if you know who or what or how. This is humble. Honorable.

    Now, if I lived in your neighborhood though, I'd be sure to wear red gloves. Because I'm betting you'll be praying for anybody you see wearing them, just in case.

    God bless you and your red gloves.

    Reply
  16. Beth E.

    An awesome idea! Thanks so much for sharing it, Jennifer! I'm going to participate.

    Reply
  17. Amber

    Wow, sister in Christ! What a lesson I could share with my daughter. I'm so happy to have found your blog. 😀

    Reply
  18. Jennifer

    Oh Jennifer, what a wonderful idea! I especially think the note saying that you will pray for whoever has the gloves, will mean more than anything. What a gift to give!

    Reply
  19. annkroeker

    How perfectly lovely! That's a generous, classy, symbolic-yet-practical application of the $10. Thanks for sharing your story with us!

    Reply
  20. Jeanne Damoff

    I love your red glove idea! I also love how this challenge encourages us all to think of creative ways to bless others. If they in turn are encouraged to do the same, the blessings will multiply exponentially. Such a beautiful thought.

    Love, Jeanne

    Reply
  21. Karen

    Beautiful…idea, heart, and love….

    Reply
  22. sharilyn

    a great idea! what a treasure that will be… and wouldn't it be the coolest if someday you were able to see/meet the person for whom you had prayed?? 🙂

    Reply
  23. Wendy @ All in a Day's Thought

    I liked every single thing about this post and I'll be back to click on the green box.
    ~ Wendy

    Reply
  24. LisaShaw

    Absolutely beautiful…GIVING in His Name is the only way. All year long we have opportunities before us to give and to look for those special ways. It's an honor to do so…

    Thank you for sharing with us.

    Blessings to you and your family and all those whom the LORD uses you to bless in His Name.

    Reply
  25. Faith Imagined

    What a wonderful idea and beautiful story! I am sticking a $10 in my purse right now!!!

    Reply
  26. Deborah Ann

    Not only is this a fabulous idea (I'm in!) but I also love the way you were sensitive to the Holy Spirit's leading. I never gave much thought to that, but I guess someone could be 'offended' by our gifts. Charity is not always a nice word, is it? But you went a step further and offered to pray along with the gift, which is even better than the gift itself. May God richly bless the recipient of your gift.

    Reply
  27. ~*Michelle*~

    oh Jennifer…….what a perfect way for this $10 challenge.

    What a blessing this will be in this woman's life….thank you for spreading the love of Christ.

    Reply
  28. Jennifer

    I've heard of these projects before, but you took it to a level that I was screaming, "Yes! That's how I want to do it!!" Anonymous. But connected together throughout the season in prayer. Such a fabulous idea. God-inspired, I'm sure.

    Reply
  29. PJ

    Jennifer, this was a beautiful post. I am definitely going to participate. So often, we think this small of a gift won't do any good because everything is so expensive. I have decided that way of thinking is soooo wrong. God can multiply that ten dollars more times than we can count. I might even do it more than once! Your post has inspired me and given me chll bumps. I don't know of what faith you are, but I believe that is the Holy Ghost telling me that this task has been anointed by God and to be obedient to His purpose. Thank you so much!

    PJ

    Reply
  30. Anne Lang Bundy

    You are ever a delight, Jennifer. I do love you.

    Reply

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