I recently got a part time job as a substitute crossing guard. It’s only a little more than 2 hours a day . A hour and a half in the morning when everyone in the house is still asleep and 45 minutes in the afternoon. The children take a break or do their chores while I’m gone. It’s decent money that we are putting toward our old debt in our goal to become debt free.
Now that you know why I was standing on the corner this past Tuesday, I must share a story. It was bitterly cold that day. As in 30 something degrees with a terrible wind that made it about 15. I live in Florida for a reason. To be warm all year round. Tuesday was the day to stay inside and never leave the house. Yet, here I was at 7 in the morning helping children cross the street.
A group of brothers approached my corner. As we waited for the light to change to red, I noticed that the oldest boy didn’t have gloves on. The light turned red so I entered the street to let them cross. We had this conversation which lasted about 3 seconds as he walked past me in the road.
Me: Where are your gloves? Your hands must be cold.
Him: I don’t have any. I’ll be alright.
At that point, I felt the Spirit lead me to give him my gloves. BUT, it was really cold. It was the beginning of my shift. I would be incredibly uncomfortable for at least an hour . At that moment, I was not obedient to the Spirit. I was not willing to make myself uncomfortable. By the time I was willing to do it more than 20 seconds or more had passed. The boys had been horsing around and chasing each other down the sidewalk. They were clearly too far for me to go after without leaving my post. Not my best moment to say the least.
I thought of that boy all day. I was going to give him my gloves that afternoon. Him and his brothers were nowhere to be seen though. Not the next day either. Come Thursday morning, I was seriously feeling guilty. The devil was having a field day with me at this point. It was still cold as I stood out there . I should mention that I was substituting all week at the same corner. Cold but not as cold as Tuesday.
A little girl approached on her bike. What got my attention was that she kept almost wrecking her bike because she was trying to ride with her jacket sleeves over her hands. You better believe that I took my gloves off immediately and gave them to her. Her little face lit up when I gave them to her. She had them on her hands as soon as she crossed the street. I felt better but still thought of the boy from Tuesday.
That afternoon, I crossed the same little girl to get home. She had the gloves on her little hands. As she passed me, I told her I would see her tomorrow. She yelled back over her shoulder, ” See you in the morning Jesus.” It took my breath away. I was Jesus to her that morning by giving my gloves. I was humbled beyond measure.
As I sat in Bible study that evening listening to Beth Moore talk about the Holy Spirit, I had a revelation. Maybe the lesson Tuesday wasn’t about giving my gloves up to that little boy. Possibly the Spirit was preparing me for Thursday morning when I would need to give my gloves to that little girl. It had bothered me so much that I hadn’t seen that little boy again. But that was not the person that needed to be blessed. It was the little girl who needed someone to bless her unconditionally.
We are to always listen to the Spirit. If God calls us to give something, we should give it regardless of our comfort level. I should have given the gloves Tuesday morning when I felt the Spirit lead me to do it. Every now and then, we get a second chance to be Jesus to someone. It’s the best feeling in the world.
An addendum to my story above: Friday morning was warmer so I wore a different jacket. As I reached into the pockets, I felt something. Another pair of gloves for me to wear that morning. I almost cried when I pulled them out. And the little boy appeared again that morning. When I asked him where he’d been since Tuesday, he remarked that his mom had been driving him since it was so cold. Those gloves were meant for that little girl the whole time.