Day Nine: Dress
My children were born four and a half years apart. The age gap was enough that I wanted to know the gender before she was born. During my first pregnancy, we wanted to wait until the baby arrived. Thus, we received loads of yellow and green baby clothes. I figured if we knew the gender, then we would avoid the yellow and green onslaught. I was right.
Once we knew we were having a daughter, pink dresses started showing up. I did not know there were so many shades of pink and purple! We received so many dresses that my daughter could have worn a new one every day for a year. She outgrew many of them before she could wear them. I even tried to exchange some for a larger size. My daughter is grown now and never wears dresses. I think she developed an allergic reaction to them after her first three years.
We make a big deal about clothes. How should we dress for this event? What do I wear to the meeting? Some institutions are bogged down by dress code rules. My mom attended twelve years of Catholic School. She said the uniform was the best part. She never had to think about her wardrobe. My children, however, attended a private Christian school for awhile and they were not as thrilled. It was exhausting keeping all of those rules.
Jesus told His disciples not to worry about what they would wear. God knows about it and He will take care of it. But maybe they didn’t have job interviews in those days. I feel like Jesus should give us a 2.0 version of this statement.
People care about what they are wearing. They seem to care even more about what others are wearing. Graphic Tees, rainbows, hair dye, nose rings, and shoes. What is the obsession about people’s shoes? I have belonged to organizations where how I dressed seems to matter more than character.
When I planted a church, I did not want my attire to rule my mornings, especially on Sundays. Ironically, I ended up being ruled by my closet anyway. I would stare into it trying to remember what I wore the week before. My plan was to rotate between casual and more dressy from Sunday to Sunday. I wanted people to feel comfortable to “come as they were”. In the end, I found myself changing my clothes 3 or 4 times and being frustrated each week.
The pandemic has helped me with this problem. I wore lounge or yoga pants so many days in a row that I forgot how to dress. On our first Sunday back to in-person worship, I wore jeans and a t-shirt. My brain did not have the capacity to think about clothes. I didn’t care and I started to understand Jesus’ words a little better.
Tomorrow will worry about itself. Instead of worrying about what we will wear, we can spend our energy on pursuing the things of God. The way we show up has less to do with our clothes and more to do with our character. Love is patient. Love is kind. It is not rude, nor does it boast.
As we move closer to Easter, let’s think about the other ways we clothe ourselves. St. Paul suggests we begin with compassion, kindness, humility, gentleness, and patience (Colossians 3:12). Good news! I looked these up and they come in every color!