White Gloves

November 13, 2021
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Listen while you read: "The Little Brown Church In The Vale"1 (Lyrics)

Sixty years ago, I was with a major accounting firm and was responsible for the auditing of a large Canadian retail chain. Spending several months each year at their main store, I had an office there and frequently rode in one of the elevators to my office.

In those days, each elevator had an operator with shiny, bright, white gloves. Ian was such an operator whose gloves were always bright and clean. This young boy was particularly enthusiastic and was a pleasure to watch as he performed his duties and announced the goods on each floor. The positive tone in his voice almost motivated you to get off and make a purchase — whether he said third floor men's sportswear or fifth floor ladies' lingerie. He represented management well.

Eventually, I learned that Ian had reconciled with his Saviour and was attending a downtown branch of our church. His mother ensured that his gloves were clean and white each day.

Psalm 51:7 – Purge me with hyssop, and I shall be clean; wash me, and I shall be whiter than snow. (ESV)

In 1967, Ian transferred to a suburban church where we attended. It had very active sports and music branches. Ian worked hard and was an excellent sportsman in both baseball and hockey. He was also a very good musician and became well-known as an outstanding musical instructor. As a teacher, he rose to be a vice-principal.

As I observed Ian progress through a happy marriage and raising two lovely children, I watched him grow as a positive young man. He seemed always to be helping others and doing so in a kind, loving way, just as Jesus did when He was on earth. This continued even as he developed a severe case of Parkinson's that eventually took his life.

As I considered the strong influence that the young man with the white gloves had on me and many others, I realized that, even though he had a difficult start (his father died when he was nine, and he was raised by a single mother), the life that he lived was a very practical example of Paul's teaching.

Galatians 5:22-23 – But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, self-control; against such things there is no law. (ESV)

He followed Paul's admonition as stated in one of my favourite passages.

Philippians 2:12-13 – Therefore, my beloved, as you have always obeyed, so now, not only as in my presence but much more in my absence, work out your own salvation with fear and trembling, for it is God who works in you, both to will and to work for his good pleasure. (ESV)

The challenge for me (and I suggest for you also) is to do everything possible in a positive way to help others.

Prayer: Dear God, thanks for Your willingness to allow us to be made as white as snow. Help us to share Your love regardless of our circumstances. In Jesus' name, we pray. Amen.

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About the author:

Vincent Walter <vwalter@bell.net>
Toronto, Ontario, Canada

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1 Comment

  • PresbyCan Feedback says:

    Amen Vincent.

    Amen brother!

    Thanks for the beautiful story, Vince.

    Thanks, Vincent for a lovely devotion today.

    Inspiring story and great advice, thanks Vincent!

    Thank you.

    I DO love these stories from your life, Vincent and they help me. Love to you on the journey of faith.

    Thanks for another very inspiring devotional, Vincent. Have a blessed day in God’s peace and light.

    What an inspiring message (again) today! Ian sure was a wonderful example!
    Thanks for sharing!

    You caught my interest right at the start with the white gloves operator.
    Thank you for this writing. I appreciate your messages.

    Mr. Walter :
    I enjoy reading your contributions frequently. To me you seem a great thinker and a knowledgeable man.

    Thank you, Vincent, for that devotional waltz through memory lane! I remember those days well. But you uplifted me more with your reminder of God’s goodness experienced through our relationships with others. Blessings.

    Thanks for the reminder for kindness and encouragement to prevail.
    I am wondering if this is the same Ian and Lois that I know.
    Same story of a beautiful couple. The Ian I knew is Promoted to Glory.

    Thanks for that reminder. I too remember the old elevators in the Eaton’s store in Hamilton when I was an articling student over 50 years ago… different firm though. White gloves wouldn’t last very long in the places I audited.

    Hello Vince,
    Thank you for this very heart touching devotional. Ian certainly served our Lord in so many special ways and unfortunately had to suffer a disease like Parkinson’s. Blessings for sharing the life story of Ian who was a dedicated servant.

    Thank you for today’s devotion Vincent.
    I imagine all who read this can bring to mind an ‘Ian’ they have known in their life. And I echo your challenge to do everything possible in a positive way to help others.
    Grace and Peace to you on this day.

    Blessings Vincent,
    What a wonderful Devotional again today. I so look forward to your Devotionals. I can usually tell it is one of yours as soon as I start to read them. The personal stories really tie into the Bible teaching and makes me want to always be a better Christian.
    Your Devotional ministry is really a blessing to us readers. Thanks again.
    Have a great Sunday and week ahead.

    I wonder what brought Ian into your mind so that you could remind us of the importance of being a positive presence to all we encounter throughout our days. It is amazing that you were able to follow Ian’s journey for so many years. It is always good to hear how someone was able to exhibit such amazing qualities from a young age.
    Thank you for sharing a story which exemplifies what Jesus would like us to do and to encourage us to prevail through difficult and good times. May you continue to be inspired by things that happen in your life to encourage others.

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