Work Gloves

farmgloves

 

 

 

 

 

My farm work gloves look beat up after a year of service.  They keep me from blistering while forking innumerable loads of smelly manure into wheelbarrows, but also help me unkink frozen hoses, tear away blackberry vines from fencing, pull thistle from the field and heavy hay bales from the haymow.  Over the years, I’ve gone through several dozen gloves, which have protected my hands as I’ve cleaned and bandaged deep wounds on legs and hooves, pulled on foals during the hard contractions of difficult births, held the head of dying animals as they sleep one final time.

Without my work gloves over the years, my hands would be full of rips and holes from the thorns and barbs of the world, sustaining scratches, callouses and blisters from the hard work of life.

But they aren’t scarred and wounded.
Thanks to these gloves, I’m presentable for my “day” work as a doctor where I don a different set of gloves many times a day.

The gloves don’t tell the whole story of my gratitude.

I’m thankful to a Creator God who doesn’t need to wear gloves when He goes to work in our world.
Who gathers us up even when we are dirty, smelly, and unworthy.
Who eases us into this life when we are vulnerable and weak,
and carries us gently home as we leave this world, weak and vulnerable.
Who holds us as we bleed from self and other-inflicted wounds.
Who won’t let us go, even when we fight back, or try not to pay attention, or care who He is.

And who came to us
with hands like ours~
tender, beautiful, easy to wound hands
that bled
because He didn’t need to wear gloves~

~His love made evident
to us all.

 

 

 

 

 

Worn Out Gloves

farmglovesAt our annual  Wiser Lake Chapel Thanksgiving service last night, we were asked to participate by bringing a token of something we are thankful for.  This is what I brought.

This is what my farm work gloves look like after a year of service.  They keep me from blistering while forking innumerable loads of smelly manure into wheelbarrows, but also help me unkink frozen hoses, tear away blackberry vines from fencing, pull thistle from the field and heavy hay bales from the haymow.  Over the years, I’ve gone through several dozen gloves, which have protected my hands as I’ve cleaned and bandaged deep wounds on legs and hooves, pulled on foals during the hard contractions of difficult births, held the head of dying animals as they sleep one final time.

Without my work gloves over the years, my hands would look very much like these do, full of rips and holes from the thorns and barbs of the world, sustaining scratches, callouses and blisters from the hard work of life.

But they don’t.
Thanks to these gloves, I’m presentable for my “day” work as a doctor where I don a different set of gloves many times a day.

But the gloves don’t tell the whole story of my gratitude.

I’m thankful to a Creator God who doesn’t need to wear gloves when He goes to work in our world.
Who gathers us up even when we are dirty, smelly, and unworthy.
Who eases us into this life when we are vulnerable and weak,
and carries us gently home as we leave this world, weak and vulnerable.
Who holds us as we bleed from self and other-inflicted wounds.
Who won’t let us go, even when we fight back, or try not to pay attention, or care who He is.

And who came to us
with hands like ours~
tender, beautiful, easy to wound hands
that bled
because He didn’t need to wear gloves~~His love made evident
to us all.

 

Called to Advent–enduring


We work hard with our own hands. When we are cursed, we bless; when we are persecuted, we endure it, when we are slandered, we answer kindly.
1 Corinthians 4:12

I wear several different types of gloves in my personal and professional life. At home, every day, as I prepare for barn chores I pull on old work gloves with holes and rips that still manage to protect my hands from blisters and briers as I shovel manure and lift hay bales. During the cold winters, I wear soft mittens when I venture outside. During gardening season, gloves keep my hands and fingernails from getting so grimy that I can’t scrub them clean afterward. During blackberry picking season, I wear protective gloves to help reduce the scratches and pokes from the thorny vines. At work, I don disposable plastic gloves many times a day as I palpate rash lesions, open up abscesses, sew up lacerations, probe orifices. Gloves protect me but also protect my patients.

There are times I wish I could pull a glove over all of me when it is a struggle to endure what life dishes out, when I’m feeling particularly vulnerable, or stretched by responsibility, or worn thin by worry. I know in my heart there is no glove that can buffer me more effectively than His Word. The knowledge of His faithfulness is protection enough to help me endure the hard times.

Then what I put on is holy, but unlike my old well-worn work gloves, this holiness inspires my work to change the world, one shovelful, one trench, one basket of fruit, or one hurting patient at a time.

You can endure change by pondering His permanence.
Max Lucado


Christians are supposed not merely to endure change, nor even to profit by it, but to cause it.

Harry Emerson Fosdick