by Dre Monseth
Dre is a friend to me, mom to Hope, wife to Ben, and and graphic designer to all. I am so excited about what she’s doing below, and I hope you will be, too. Read, enjoy, and participate. Love does, friends! You can follow Dre on Facebook here and on twitter here.
Sometimes – most of the time – God feels intangible to me, and connecting with Him is an interior exercise of heart and mind. These past several days, He’s changed all of that.
Ten days ago, in the midst of the polar vortex, I came across an article about what shelters in Minneapolis were doing for the homeless to keep them safe in such insanely freezing conditions and how people could help. Then I felt it. You know that feeling that pulses through your veins when you know you’re “supposed to” do something? Maybe it’s an adrenaline surge or something, but it’s very physical. I’ve felt it most often in my life as a teenager at Bible camps, when during a sharing time I knew I was supposed to say something. Your palms get kinda sweaty and your heart races a bit. Is that how it always feels when the Holy Spirit moves us? No, but sometimes, maybe. In this case, I think yes, definitely. I’ll usually read an article like that, feel empathy for a few seconds, and then scroll on to the next Facebook post. I knew that wasn’t an option this time. God was stirring me to act.
I made a phone call to St. Stephens Human Services (they provide assistance and shelter to people experiencing homelessness in Minneapolis) where I learned that one thing they really need is gloves. Gloves that are actually warm. Donations of gloves are received, but they’re often thin, unlined, well used, and inadequate. How many pairs of warm gloves could they use? One hundred.
Over the next few days, The Glove Project began to take shape. A week-long effort to get new or gently used warm gloves/mittens onto the hands of 100 homeless men in Minneapolis. I had more questions than answers as to how I could coordinate this drive and rally people to raise enough money and glove donations to meet the goal of 100 pairs. Who would handle the online cash donations? Where would I buy that many gloves? What gloves are going to be warm enough? Could this really be done in one week? So from the beginning, I purposed to rely on God through this whole thing – not because I’m really good at relying on Him, but because I felt like “God, you got me into this. You get me through it.”
Here’s what I’ve learned about reliance on God through this project so far: it’s step by step. I’m a big-picture person and I rarely set out on an endeavor if I don’t have a viable strategy for success. But God hasn’t humored me with an overview of how this is going to come together. (I still don’t know where we’re going to get the gloves from!) What He has done is provide tangible and real solutions for each step so far. This has been the farthest thing from an interior exercise of heart and mind. I’m connecting with God – He’s connecting with me – at the level of real, actual life.
The separation of sacred and secular is a distinction made by us, not by God. There is no part of creation where God is not. Everything falls under His authority, under His care. To think that the only place to meet God is in a quiet, interior place of self-reflection and maybe some lit candles is flawed thinking. Remember, Jesus walked among us. He lived an every day, actual life with hangnails and morning breath. The God who loves enough to become human and have a human experience doesn’t now separate Himself from our tangible, human lives. He is a God who is present enough to walk me through this project step by step. He is a God who sincerely cares about the cold hands of homeless men in Minneapolis. He is a God who dwells in the tangible. Maybe we just need to notice Him there.
Please consider making a donation to The Glove Project. Donations are being accepted through Monday, January 20.
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