a large, black pair of gloves

It all started with a list. Two pages, ten teenagers and all their Christmas wishes. A dear friend was making it his mission to provide all that he could for them. “I just want these kids to know that somebody cared enough to find out what they wanted,” he said. “Sure, I could give ’em all a gift card but it’s so much better knowing that someone cared enough to shop for you.” He asked us to tag along; assisting him with his selections and making sure that he found everything on the list. We shopped, my word how we shopped yesterday! Ten hours worth of shopping and we had it all…

All but a large, black pair of gloves for “Boy#10.” For all our searching, we couldn’t find them. We found black gloves in other sizes. We found large gloves in other colors. We found cologne and an mp3 player and all sorts of cool stuff for “Boy#10” but at the end of the day we still didn’t have gloves.

I woke up this morning thinking about “Boy#10.” What kind of teenager asks for gloves? Such a practical, useful gift. I remember asking for stuff like that. In high school, I asked for what I needed: socks, underwear, soap, sneakers. We didn’t have much money so I figured if my parents were going to buy something for me, the least I could do was make it easy on them. I didn’t want them to have to choose between giving me what I wanted and what I needed. I wondered if  “Boy#10” was like that too. I wondered if he lost a favorite pair of gloves in the midst of the difficulties and challenges he’s facing. I wondered if his hands ever get cold while waiting for the school bus.

I thought about “Boy#10” all day. I prayed that he would know Jesus as a savior, friend and king. I prayed that his heart would heal from the pain he feels and that he wouldn’t grow bitter. I prayed that he would grow up to become a good man. I also prayed that I would somehow find what he asked for: a large, black pair of gloves.

I was pacing the department store aisle, waiting for Melissa when I saw them.

Tonight, I’m thankful to rest in the knowledge that “Boy#10” is loved by Jesus. I pray that he’d know it too. Especially when he opens a certain box on Christmas morning and finds a large, black pair of gloves.

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