Wednesday, June 09, 2010

Taking off and Putting on.

By Belinda

Confession time. I have a quirk or two (maybe three!) :)

One quirk is becoming ridiculously attached to certain articles of clothing.

Oh, I can "shop until I drop," with the best of them, but when something serves me well and is comfortable, then I will try to  hang on to it forever.

Take this shoe, for instance. It belongs to a pair that I have had for about 7 years. I didn't even buy them--they were Brenda's, and expensive, but they didn't fit her properly. They fit me like a second skin and have been faithful friends; carrying my feet on long walks, on shopping expeditions in Canada, England and Holland, to work and church--pretty much everywhere in my life for 7 years, with short bouts in between when I wore my equally faithful Birkenstock sandals.

But sadly, nothing lasts forever, and although I would wear them forever if I could, the seam on one shoe is coming apart. I considered having it restitched, but taking a few photographs of the shoes for this blog post, I noticed that they are worn out and I need to face it. The leather is scuffed and the soles are worn, and I notice (because I did look) that shoe repair stores are few and far between these days.

So yesterday I popped into the mall at lunch time, on my way back to the office from a meeting, and raced from shoe store to shoe store, looking for exactly the same shoes, or a close approximation. They don't make them like that anymore. I came away with a much trendier pair, and I am sure they will grow on me as much as these, eventually. I brought my old ones home with me in a bag though. I'm letting go of them in stages.

As I drove away from the mall, I thought about how cool it would be, if someone with a vast wardrobe, someone like the late Princess of Wales; Princess Diana; invited me over and said, "Help yourself to anything you like."

And I thought of how that very morning I had left the house in a slight rush for a meeting in the city. My heart was not quite peaceful. Pressured for time, I had been a little more abrupt in my responses and I had missed the way I like to start my day, with reading scripture and moments of quietness.

As I arrived at my destination, I realized that I needed to deliberately take off the edgy, old me, and "put on Christ:"

 12-14So, chosen by God for this new life of love, dress in the wardrobe God picked out for you: compassion, kindness, humility, quiet strength, discipline. Be even-tempered, content with second place, quick to forgive an offense. Forgive as quickly and completely as the Master forgave you. And regardless of what else you put on, wear love. It's your basic, all-purpose garment. Never be without it. (Colossians 3:12-13, The Message)

I was happy then to give up my old clothes for those of Christ. For the King of all that is, was taking me into his dressing room and offering me royal garments of grace.

And I think that I can part with my old shoes today. :)


Susan said...

The last line of your scripture in the NASB says, "Beyond all these things put on love, which is the perfect bond of unity."

Kind of puts it in perspective, hey? If we want unity, it's not not so much about what others do or do not so much as it's incumbent upon us to to put on love...

I think I need to spend a little more time in the dressing room this morning!

Marilyn Yocum said...

I enjoyed this post - the picture, the way it made me think of a pair of shoes I'm having a hard time parting with and how you tied it together with the willingness to put on Christ. Wonderful post. I am shedding the old and putting on the new in several ways....continuously, I guess.

I love what Susan added as well and appreciate the upward spiral of excellent thoughts that blogs often stir.