A sleeve is a protective covering for our arms and for other things as well. In simple terms, we go sleeveless in warm weather and wear full sleeves in cold weather. I’ve always thought of sleeves in that way; something to keep the arms warm. As a metaphor, arms signify a person’s reach or influence, such as “the long arm of the law.” My hope is that we keep our arms spiritually warm as we extend our reach in our day to day living.
Spiritually, sleeves represent keeping our arms warm with kindness, goodwill, and love. A cold environment freezes the arms to curtail a person’s reach of compassion. We put sleeves on to keep our desire warm to extend our reach of charitable deeds. The reach of our influence also relates to what we are willing to procure. If we are not expecting to extend a helping hand, then we certainly do not keep an inventory with others in mind. The social environment begins to look and feel cold because no one is thinking or feeling to extend compassionate arms. The spiritual fruit are the sleeves of the arms in a world full of indifference to the suffering of others.
They nailed the hands of Jesus to the cross to put a halt to the reach of his long arms. Thorns were driven in his head to cause pain when thinking about extending his compassion. Nails in his feet would prevent him from going to other places to extend his reach. Even in that excruciating pain, we know today that the reach of his long arm extends worldwide. Christ in us drives us to put on the sleeves and to do a good deed for someone today. Even though there is emotional and mental pain to help others, we know the fruitful impact of a well planted seed.