Wednesday, October 03, 2007

No. Please excuse MY appearance.

As I cleaned up the dishes from supper I looked down at the way I was dressed and I sighed.
We had to leave for church, and I didn't have time to change.
These clothes are comfortable to me, so comfortable that I've come to hate them.
You see, I wore a skirt to church.

I've thought about it lately, how appearances are deceiving.

I seem stereotypical. I play the church piano in my skirt or maybe even put on a Sunday morning dress. I seem typical. Stereotypical.
Of a church 10 years ago.

My clothes put people ill at ease. People have apologized to me for wearing their work clothes or for simply not changing into 'church' clothes. They apologize to me because my skirt becomes a symbol. A stereotypical symbol.

It makes me appear religious. Maybe even spiritual. Maybe you think I love God, obey God, serve God, pray, sing, or worship better. Maybe you just assume I sin less. It's not true. You see, I'm just like you. Maybe even worse. Because you had the guts not to change your clothes.

I liked that someone came to church in a shirt that was dirty because they helped someone just before church and got a little dirty.
I liked that someone else came to church in their nurses scrubs.
I liked that some people showed up in jeans.
I liked that the oldest lady in the church looked lovely wearing pants, rather than a dress.

For some Christians, the clothes you wear is like your uniform. It makes it clear to everyone that you work here. It distinguishes your position.
The only thing is, I don't want to be known for the clothes I wear.
It's not going to come up on the final exam.

I'm dissatisfied. I see things that could change yet they are so far against my upbringing that it's hard to feel Christ-like either way it goes.

You, you're probably far past issues like clothing. It almost seems like an old problem. People don't worry about those things anymore. But for me, I literally disgrace my parents by wearing pants to church. So I don't. But regardless of why I wear my skirts, I don't want to be known for them.

I'd rather be known for Him.


And as for you, I think your clothes are just wonderful.

4 comments:

NaNcY said...

hi j

good insight and reminder to look...past the clothing and into the heart.

Sista Cala said...

I am from the 'old school' about church attire. That's not to say that I strictly adhere to my upbringing, but I am always uplifted to see a certain standard of dress among the 'leadership' of a church. But I am not deterred when folks dress differently from myself. It is all a matter of balance.
Public work places have dress codes, so it is not too far out there for there to be one for church.
Don't sweat it. Jesus is looking at the heart and people should too.

Brother Marty said...

Interesting topic. Wednesday night communion service is "work clothes" for everyone. This past Wednesday at 6pm I wore shorts and a T-shirt. Those are my work clothes. The other men who come are typically dressed the same. One wears his work uniform with his company's logo on the shirt and everything. But Sundays are different.

On a typical Sunday when I'm in the congregation, it's khaki pants and a dress shirt. But on those Sundays when I preach, I used to wear a suit and tie. I was so uncomfortable dressed that way. But I did so because the position of leadership that one has when delivering the message required a more stoic appearance. Well, me, being me, being uncomfortable shows. After more than a few sweaty Sundays, some folks from the choir told me that I didn't need to wear a tie to share the message. They said, "Marty, please, you make us nervous seeing you sweating like that...just be you". So, no more tie.

Nowadays, I don't wear a tie...wherever I preach. I do, however, put some starch on the shirt and try to have a "crisp" appearance...but no more tie and coat. Do you think that starch makes one look more dressed up?

Thanks for this post. I have to preach later this month in front of a lot of pastors...I need to buy more starch!

Anonymous said...

I admire the folks who put on their best for the Lord. It's a matter of respect. You would not go to the President's home in your everyday clothes, a pair of jeans, etc. So, surely we ladies can take the time to show respect for the Lord and his house by wearing lady like apparel and honor him in this way.

I don't have a web page but my name is Mary.

God Bless.