Handwarmers–Unexpected Provision

     Being nearly six foot tall with seemingly apeishly long arms, many full-length sleeves are a trendy three-quarter length on me.  I have a lovely teal coat with ‘three-quarter length’ sleeves, that would look even more trendy, were I to have a pair of handwarmers.  I’d wanted handwarmers for awhile-the sleeve thing is a justification.
     One blistering summer, I was browsing the items at a quaint Scandinavian shop and saw a pair of cashmere handwarmers that suited my wants, but at a price of over $120, I couldn’t justify the purchase.  I was disappointed and perplexed at why handwarmers weren’t on sale in the midst of summer.
     A few weeks later I was shopping at another quaint store, and there, in a bargain bin was an entire collection of upscale winterwear with incredible markdowns.  I found a pair of handwarmers marked down 85%.  They were mine.  Those lovely peachy-orangey handwarmers with light grey polka dots were mine.  I’m not colorblind, I knew they didn’t remotely match the teal coat, but the price was right.  The color combo went with absolutely nothing I owned–wasn’t even a part of my color palette.
     Two months after my purchase, my friend returned from Kyrzgstan with a gift: hand felted wool and silk handwarmers that coordinated with my teal coat.  God had provided for me from the other side of the world.
     Another month passed and the cool Iowa winter moved in, along with the icy chill of my classroom (heat’s not turned on until it’s REALLY cold).  I realized that the peachy-orangey handwarmers with light grey polka dots would do well for keeping my hands warm enough to keep my fingers from freezing solid.  I brought the handwarmers to school, but they just set on my desk for days–with the price tag still attached…frozen fingers for days, and I just let them set on my desk with absolutely no desire to wear them.
     One afternoon I was working with a student and we were both lamenting about our cold hands.  Then there was a gentle mental nudge, “Give her the handwarmers.” It would be a small act of obedience, but I didn’t want to do it…what high school girl would want handwarmers from an old teacher?
     “Give her the handwarmers.”  I heard again.
     So I offered, apologetically, “I have some handwarmers…if you’d like them…they’re new…still have the tags…I think they’re your color…but if you don’t want them, I’m not offended.” I felt foolish and embarrassed, a bit undone at what God was asking of me; it seemed silly and unnecessary, this girl refused nearly everything I offered (compliments, help, snacks, etc).
I cut off the tags, and handed them to her, a bit hesitantly.
     “Oh, I love them,” she nearly gushed.  Then she looked me in the eye, pulled up her sleeve–revealing numerous scars from cutting–and questioned, “Do you think they’ll cover these?”

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