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Hand in Glove: Moore

Leslie Brown

You’re not really living by faith until that is all you have. We have lost family this year, health, jobs, faith in people, and institutions, but not in G-d.

What lasts? Nothing but G-d. Have you ever seen a hearse with a U-Haul? “This World is Not Our Home”, says the old hymn.

How do we get by? Hopefully someone lightens our load, or acts as a “Barnabas” in our lives. Barnabas was an encourager. We attend a tiny church of 15-20 people. One of the men there, a veteran, seems to have a sixth sense for when we need a “lift”.

He has picked us up, and taken us shooting, he has had us to his home for dinner, and he has taken us to the local diner. How does he know the depth of the darkness of our thoughts?

This world is cold and unforgiving, and we need someone to take our hand sometimes; our hands that are cold and anxious, and hurting even.

A women and her (now) husband moved to New York, City from Sydney, Australia. Of course the Southern Hemisphere is in “summer” when the Northern Hemisphere is in “winter”.

Not dressed nearly warmly enough for the brutal winds of winter, the couple “leap-frogged” into different establishments down the street seeking refuge from the biting winds. A young woman hearing the accents of the two realized the shock of which the weather must be to the two.

This girl looked at me and my lame excuse for winter clothing and exclaimed, “you have no gloves!” and promptly took hers off and gave them to me. Yes. She took her gloves off her hands on a freezing winter’s night and gave them to me. “Have these!” she insisted.

I refused. But she would not take no for an answer. She said they were only a couple of dollars and that I needed them more than she did. To really convince me, she said, “I have plenty of pairs, really — please.”

In that moment, I wanted to cry. I was so thankful to this stranger who, with this small but very generous deed, impacted how I felt about our large life move to what seemed to be this big, cold and daunting city. I instantly felt warmer. My husband did too as we stood in that little pizza place — me with new blue gloves in my hand (that I ended up wearing for weeks and weeks). Sometimes a little kindness is so astonishing that we don’t even know how to accept it in the moment. It affected me so deeply. I still recall it vividly now. I hope I thanked her properly.

This one act instantly changed how I interpreted the new world around me. It reminded me that people do care. That love exists and is a very strong force. And that I should focus on giving too, not worrying about what comes my way — in terms of work, success and opportunity (which is all I had been concerned with for what seemed like a long time at that point). I wanted to be like this girl whose name I didn’t know — to give openly and freely and be and vulnerable and… well… light. I felt so heavy. Her kindness immediately made me feel lighter and I wanted to emit the same energy she did that evening. I too wanted to be the light for someone else. I have never stopped, hence my foray into life coaching.

I wish I knew who she was so I could send her a gift. If you are reading this you beautiful, kind young woman in Midtown five years ago — thank you. Christmas Day was a few days later and my husband and I both talked about the glove-giving over our lunch at a diner. They were sitting beside me like a lovely, ongoing reminder. Somehow we both knew it altered our sentiment towards our new surroundings at that time. It reminded us of the warmth that we can choose to feel and to be. That it comes from within and a big, positive shift in our life experience is the result when we choose it.

It did turn out to be a happy holiday. And years later, we are still here. I like to think we are almost New Yorkers now if New York will let us. And whenever I share this story, I can still feel the warmth.

What acts had the hands that were previously in the gloves performed? What acts will the hands now in the gloves do? It is up to the wearer of the gloves; they can hurt or they can heal? What will your hands do?

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