Today I threw away a pair of khaki cargo pants that I'd had since the summer of 2007. They were my go-to casual pants every summer. The hems were so frayed, though, and today the heel of my shoe got caught on it and ripped it further, so I knew it was useless to keep them any longer. I also have a black and white floral cardigan that I have had since the spring of 2009. Like the pants, it was a go-to item (all year round). I've noticed that it has gotten kind of shabby though, and the other day I noticed two little holes in it. And, yesterday, I wore a pair of jeans that I'd attempted to hem (I really need to give up trying to sew anything) but the hem on one leg fell down, so I was walking around the store hoping I wouldn't trip on the fabric from the longer side.
Sometimes, I wear something only to discover after I leave the house that it has a stain on it. It might be small and insignificant, or it might be a bright orange spaghetti sauce stain on a bright white skirt. I don't intentionally wear clothing that is somehow tattered; I would prefer to wear clothing that fits perfectly and is in pristine condition. But it doesn't always work out that way.
As I was walking around Wal Mart in my fallen-hem jeans, I started thinking about how tattered clothing is a metaphor for humanity. We walk around, hoping our human condition is pristine, and yet, it is not. Something is always amiss--large or small. Call it fallen, call it brokenness, call it sin; we are not in pristine condition. We want to be, but we are not, either because someone else has hurt us, or we have hurt ourselves. We walk around hoping our outsides are presentable to the world, when on the inside, our hearts, minds, and souls are ripped and stained. We hope that we won't be tripped up by those inner rips and stains, but they are a part of us, difficult to ignore. Sometimes they are noticeable to others, and sometimes they are not. But we always know they are there.
Just like I cannot fix my clothing by myself (I sewed myself to the carpet when I was a kid. Seriously.), I cannot fix my inner rips and stains by myself. Just like I need to take my clothing to a tailor, I need to take my inner rips and stains to The Tailor, The Great Physician.
How about you? What rips and stains do you need to bring before Him?