Monday, March 05, 2012

Faith & Fashion: I Wore a Wrinkled Sweater

I love clothes, shoes, accessories, and fashion and style in general and I sometimes think about how the worlds of faith and fashion can collide.  Here are the other two pieces I wrote about the issue:
Faith & Fashion:  Shoes
Faith & Fashion:  But Nobody Cares What I'm Wearing

The other day, I was planning to meet some new friends for coffee at a local coffee shop.  I love coffee, I love friends, I love having other kids for my sons to play with, so it was a win all around.  As I stared into my closet that morning I had one of those "what am I going to wear?" moments.  It wasn't panic, and most of my clothes were clean so I had choices.  I just wasn't sure what I was going to put together.  At this point in winter, I start getting very tired of winter clothes and start hoping to see spring around the corner (however, since I live in Iowa, it's a really big corner).

I pulled on some dark wash jeans, a black and white dotted camisole, and my gold sweater.  I then had two thoughts:  one, I really like this combination of articles of clothing and two, my sweater is wrinkled.  I debated on whether or not I should change or at least iron the sweater, and then I opted not to since I was running late as it was.  I really didn't think it would bother my new friends if my sweater was wrinkled (and really, when we're all trying to keep our eyes on the kids in a public place, wrinkled clothing is probably the least of our worries) and I also started to think about how it was symbolic about life.

Life is not perfectly ironed.

Life is wrinkled.  Sometimes, life is not just wrinkled but ripped, stained, and ill-fitting.

But we still have to wear it.  We can't just take it off and choose a new life every time we come across something that doesn't fit quite right.  We have to learn to live with those wrinkles, rips, and stains.  Sometimes, we are able to iron them out, but these difficulties that we face can pop up in a variety of ways.  It could be the pain of losing a friend, the heartbreak of losing a loved one, the daily stress of life in general, the frustration when the kids just don't listen, the multitude of things that happen to make us realize that life just is not perfect.

In all of these things, I am reminded that I cannot get through them on my own.  In all of these things, I am reminded that I am not the one who is strong.

A well-known criticism of Christianity is that it is for the weak, that it is a crutch.  I agree with that, but I don't think it is a criticism, but a positive thing.  I know that I cannot get through life alone.  I know that when times are tough that I need support and someone that I can trust.  I know that in those times, I can only rely on God's strength to get me through the wrinkles of life.  I'm not ashamed of that.  I know that I can't do everything on my own (as much as I would like to!)

As I wrote this, the following verses came to mind, and I hope that if you are experiencing some wrinkles right now, that they will help to comfort you.

And the peace of God, which surpasses all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus.  Finally, beloved, whatever is true, whatever is honorable, whatever is just, whatever is pure, whatever is pleasing, whatever is commendable, if there is any excellence and if there is anything worthy of praise, think about these things. --Philippians 4:7-8  

For God's foolishness is wiser than human wisdom, and God's weakness is stronger than human strength. --1 Corinthians 1:25

I'm going to go do my ironing now.


PennieS said...

Very nice analogy Kelly!

Kelly said...

Thank you, Pennie!

Jean said...

I love this because I hate to iron. So I wonder if I'm supposed to be more concerned with the wrinkles in my clothes instead of ignoring maybe they display a lack of discipline? Ah wrinkles mean different things to different people!!