Hope and Love.

Posted by Colleen Woods on

Each of us may be sure that if God sends us on stony paths He will provide us with strong shoes, and He will not send us out on any journey for which He does not equip us well.

Alexander MacLaren


A cherished memory from my childhood happened at a piano recital in which I was a participant. I have no recollection whatsoever as to the song I played, but I do remember climbing onto the piano bench wearing a pale pink traditional A-line dress, white tights, and a classic pair of red Mary Janes, that timeless shoe style symbolizing the beauty of girlhood. This sweet little trio of wardrobe elements made me feel special and pretty that day.

Classic Mary Janes are typically made from leather, patent or otherwise. They are secured by one thin strap over the instep and fastened with a shiny buckle or some type of button as a closure. Also characteristic of this darling shoe is a rounded toe-box, low heels, and thin outsoles. They date all the way back to the turn of the 20th century. When I was a girl, they were always strong shoes that could be shared as hand-me-downs for a younger sister or two to wear.

What a delight it has been to discover that Ruby’s ministry partners, my sisters in Christ, Amy and Veronica, share the same love for ruby-red shoes that I do. What fun we had during one of our planning meetings making a slight detour from designing greeting card packaging into talking about our favorite pair of red shoes ... grown-up-girl red shoes with heels, buckles and bows, gems and jewels. It’s a shared love, for certain!

If I had known this in advance, I would have asked them to wear some red shoes to our official team launch and signing meeting.

Before heading off to celebrate Christmas, I asked both my friends to draw an envelope with the word HOPE or LOVE in it for a little “homework” assignment while they were traveling. Amy drew the envelope containing the word HOPE; and Veronica, LOVE. The words fit each of them in many ways.

In addition to sharing a mutual love for ruby shoes, we also share a love for stories about others who dared to do big things for God. A favorite story is that of the Gideons! If you are unfamiliar with them, they are an association of Christian businessmen whose goal upon starting their ministry was to unite traveling salesmen for evangelism. Like the iconic Mary Janes, they also got their start all the way back at the turn of the 20th century at the Central House Hotel in Boscobel, Wisconsin. (The hotel is 300 miles away from where Ruby Buckle and her team got their start – not so far away.)

In addition to being united in purpose with the other men in their association, this group of traveling men had a team of women who supported them in their ministry of distributing Bibles to hotels all across the nation. Their ministry thrives to this very day. In the first 93 years of the organization, the Gideons distributed one billion copies of Scriptures. Distribution of the second billion took only 13 years!

Just like those husbands who worked along with their wives, striving side by side to effectively reach the world with the gospel, the women leading Ruby Buckle are supported by loving and encouraging husbands of their own.

In addition to the unique gifts and talents the three of us bring, our husbands come with notable talents of their own to support our mission. One a gifted Bible teacher, another a savvy financier, and last but not least, an accomplished architectural designer. It is our hope and dream that we will be utilizing the expertise of all of them one day. Oh love!

What a blessing it is to be a part of this team that God has united for this unique and wonderful ministry for women. No matter what color your favorite shoes are, we sincerely hope you’ll join us in sharing God’s love with the women in your life.

Follow the way of love!

Buckle up your shoes and join us on the great adventure with Ruby Buckle and her friends! I’m excited to introduce Amy and Veronica, HOPE and LOVE, to you in the next posts.

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