My aunt Patty has lovely hands. Her secret is she always wears gloves.
Gardening. Dish Washing. Winter. She has protected her hands from the elements for more than 50 years. She also has a knack for saving the best of her wardrobe over the decades and has some beautiful vintage clothes and jewels. One in particular is a pearl ring set in a swirl of thick silver. It looks gorgeous on her timeless skin.
Gloves protect our delicate hands from dirt (which is good to grow food) and dish soap (which is good to clean away germs) and cold winter air (which lets the flowers rest so they can dazzle me next Spring). So why do these good things damage our skin?
Dirt contains bacteria, soaps strip off essential skin protecting oils, cold dry air dehydrates the cells. These things damage and age the skin. Anything unprotected can be damaged. …above all else, guard your heart… We need soul gloves.
We don’t need steel gauntlets to guard our heart, maybe a sturdy pair of leather gardening gloves, water proof dish gloves, or nice fur lined winter gloves, but guarded nonetheless.
We garden in the soil of our life’s giving and calling. We plant seeds of ourselves in our children, our careers, our relationships. Each garden has the glories of life-giving soil, but can be inhabited by the bacteria of misunderstanding, frustration and conflict.
We clean dishes to prepare for our next meal. And our soul eats. It will eat just about anything you give it to eat. Souls eat with the eyes, the ears, the senses. It can eat the junk food of an hour of mindless reality television, or the steak of an amazing Bible study. I’ve noticed when I am especially hungry it is easier, mindlessly easier to drive through, than to prepare my own food at home. A hungry soul is tired and weak. It will welcome the mindless drive through, super-sized, add a cherry pie boxed set movie marathon. It needs the effort of actually sitting down quietly and saying hello to Jesus.
And the World’s climate is cold. Racing for parking places, changing lanes while giving you the universal symbol of hatred, 21 items in the 20 items or less line. Taxes, bills, anger and labels.
How do I slip on these gloriously warm, protective, fit for the opera soul gloves?
Intention. It takes time to go in the house and get the gardening gloves when I am walking past a weed. It takes time to go buy another pair of washing gloves when I sliced the last ones open washing the paring knife. It takes time, and I am in a hurry, and I don’t warm my car up, and I sit and blow on my hands…and give the thousand reasons while I don’t have time to…
Ah, the elegance of taking time. Applying His Grace, The Word, The Armor of Light, Clothed in Garments of Praise.
Soul gloves. And the next time you see me, my ageless soul will be wearing that amazing ring. The Pearl of Great Price.