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. :)