The last few weeks I have become so in earnest deep down about wanting to change the world.  I know… I can’t really change the whole world, but I have seen situation after situation that just cries out for help and justice.  I see people in poverty and terrible suffering while so many live in the lap of luxury.  When I see them I want to scream, “This cannot be!! Not in a world where there is so much wealth, that these should have nothing at all, and no place to be – pushed aside and forgotten.”  I ask God to please bless me with riches so I can rescue the people I see from suffering.  Or I ask Him to make me famous so when I ask the world to give money, they would.. instead of ignoring me as just another bleeding heart with one of a million causes.

I think about all the people I have poured myself out to, wanting to help.  And in the end, not really seen the fruit of my labors as I had imagined when I set out.  Even in the small sphere I have, I want to do so much more – to have a lasting impact, not just a single meal, a pair of socks, or a package of diapers for the week.  I have always entrusted these small gifts to God, knowing He will use them for His glory even if I never really see the results at the end of the day.  I have seen a few sweet moments when someone lights up because the timing was exactly perfect and neither of us could have coordinated it better.  That’s when God gets the Thank Yous and I see through that tiny window into what Spirit-led ministry could be.  But still, my heart has a deep grief for the hurting and the forgotten in this world.  God, I want to do more!

Something deeper though is at stake.  Many good works can be done just because they are a good idea.  You can throw money around and give people what they need, but they remain unhealed, still trapped in their cycles of defeat.  You can even steal their dignity and leave them unable to hope for tomorrow.  This is the ministry of humans.  It looks great on the outside, but really it’s giving birth to wind.  This does not work salvation in the earth.  Life only comes through Him.  Not through staying busy.  The good works may open doors to the hearts, but without the Spirit, no one walks through the door.  Or the doors don’t open at all.

I have known this for a very long time.  Mentally.  But I have pushed forward in unbelief that this could be me, that I could walk with Him in such a way that I could minister His Life to people, and not just meet physical needs.  But then He puts a desire there that you know only He can fill.  Only in Him are these things possible at all, on any level – physically, emotionally, or spiritually.   The truth is that while I really want to help people, they also scare me.  I’m happy behind a keyboard, but I don’t know how to get past handing them a bar of soap.  They can even live under my own roof, but the relationships still center around surface things.  I want to not be afraid to love more!  He can do a lot more with love than he can with a dollar.  Without love, the dollar isn’t going to go very far.  

Christian history is so rich with the testimonies of believers who believed beyond themselves and trusted God to use them.  The prayer of Jabez doesn’t even come close.  It’s not a formula.  It’s a sacrifice.  Total and complete.  I don’t know what is next or if anything at all.  Maybe He just wants me to be a good mom to my kids.  What I do know truly is that without Him, I can do no good thing.  Because it is HIS work, not mine.

It’s not a matter of stopping what I already do in favor of something more spiritual.  But approaching what I do in the awareness, direction, and power of His Spirit.  For Life.

The Rocks Will Cry Out

January 24, 2012

Sometimes you find truth in unexpected places, even when you aren’t looking for any.  Since being set free from men’s definitions of religion into desiring and seeing God’s reality, the lines between spiritual and secular blur, because I see God everywhere. I see His Divine finger on so many things and people. They may not know He is there, or might even take the credit for His work, but I see God. Watching a ballet or hearing a violin solo at the symphony are spiritual experiences for me that bring tears to my eyes. These great gifts that God gave to man, glorify Him even when the men and women themselves do not. He implanted in His Creation the desire for beauty, for excellence, creativity, diversity, light, color, sound, and movement. All of nature exhibits these Divine gifts, and humans express them. This is how we fall into the trap of worshiping both. They are so much like their Maker that they inspire awe, yet they are not Him. They were created to glorify Him.

When I was young, I had a favorite rock band. Okay, favorite is kind of a weak word for it. I was obsessed, and not in the way little girls love boy bands. To me they were a symbol of something passionate and intrinsically good. In the early years, their sound was reminiscent of a garage band, but they grew into an incredibly unique sound that many people still are trying to imitate.

My mother who detested my music, as it seems to be the duty of a mother to do, told me that when I got older I probably wouldn’t like that kind of music anymore. So she hoped, I’m sure. I have definitely lost interest in most of the music I once enjoyed.  Nearly everything in our pop culture is shallow, lustful, spiritually dark, and soaked in rebellion. But once in awhile, there are exceptions.

Last night I watched the video of an outdoor concert this band had performed a few months ago and I was even more amazed by them than when seeing them live in 1987. In some ways it reminded me of my marriage. Twenty years with the same man has brought a unity and synergy that is produced only when people have long-term committed relationships. We are so much better together than even ten years ago. This band has also definitely grown, together.

Seeing them perform again ignited thoughts about the journey I have been on during the last two decades, what had originally attracted me to them, and how I have come full circle back to resonating again with their deep angst and passion. They are no saints, to be sure, but neither am I. At one time, I drew a line between my religious life and everything else, and had black and white labels for everything. Now I see they have struggled with many of the same questions I have, and been horrified at the inexcusable injustices in the world. One of them at least seems to also have found hope in the same place as well.

As I watched, memories flooded back with the old songs, inspiration came with the new ones, and I found myself in a state of unspeakable awe – not of them so much as with them. The deep spiritual longing their songs often speak of I also identify with; a recognition of the war within, yet hanging on to hope and knowing we are not “at home” in this world, as it is; the longing to see justice, compassion and peace reign in men’s hearts. When I was a teenager, God had planted these passionate desires in me too. Teenagers are easily idealistic. Not yet having submitted to follow God Himself, this band became my prophet and preacher. The music alone lifted me up to a plane where I could hope, and the words took my mind to desire higher ideals than I saw existed in the present world. Family and religion had failed me. But I still yearned for “goodness” to be found somewhere. I shortly learned, it didn’t originate in me either!

Now I am in Christ, and He in me, and these songs have withstood the test of time, and still ring true. The rocks can cry out questions the preachers can’t ask and still keep their jobs. They can call for compassion and justice without being accused of a having a “social gospel” because no one expects them to have a gospel in the first place. Because, it’s simply about suffering people. They can embed the truth into poetry that sinks down into the soul without creating the resistance of a condemning diatribe. They can be painfully honest, and they can even be wrong.  Rocks are not afraid to let their passion be seen and heard.  That’s why they CRY OUT when others do not.  They overflow with what cannot be contained.

In Sinai, water came from a rock.  Jesus said, “out of you will flow rivers of living water.”  I want to be that kind of rock.

The constraints of human fear and pride (sometimes referred to as religion) have handicapped the communication of God’s truths today, just has they sought to silence it long ago on a cross.  His children are often silenced in the temple. Maybe the rocks really are crying out.  An unruly “rock” star invites God to share the stage, a homeless man who spreads the Word everywhere he goes, a woman who has nothing yet seeks to do what she can to help those who have suffered even more than she… unlikely evangelists.  You never know when you might meet one.

I turned out the light to sleep, feeling like I’d been to church. But I couldn’t sleep as my mind raced around the past and wondered about the future, and how God has called me to cry out. At times it seems pointless and I shrink back. Words evaporate quicker than vapors most of the time. But some are chosen to stick, to be carried to generations. In 100 years it’s not likely anyone will know my name, remember me as their ancestor, or visit my grave. But if anything I do or say does survive this life, I want to be a rock crying out, resonating with the heart of my God.

Just Trust God

December 13, 2011

Today I spoke with someone going through a fiery, humiliating trial.   They reported that other believers keep telling them, “Just trust God!”  For people who are trusting as best they know how, with no change in circumstance, these words offer only an opportunity for more feelings of failure.

The problem with this advice isn’t that it’s wrong, but misunderstood by those who speak it, and those who hear it.

We have ideas in our minds of how things are supposed to be.  God’s blessing looks like…. ???  Maybe we have spent the bulk of our days chasing after something less than He wanted us to have.  Maybe…  in his mercy, he takes away our dreams and human-based plans which we formed by internalizing what the world says matters, in order to give us more of Himself.

I know many people right now on the brink of different types of impending disaster.  Some are wringing their hands in fear, some are enjoying His peace amid the storm.  I feel like I live on that precipice most of the time, very aware of the seemingly insignificant turn of events that could bring my orderly world crashing down.  I have lived long enough to have seen a few of those times of crisis, and I’m sure there will be more.  I have also seen joy and peace on the faces of some, even though they found themselves at the bottom of the barrel.

So what does it mean.. Just trust God?

This past week I felt as if I had stepped into a huge blessing prepared for us by God.  We didn’t plan this, or know it was coming.  It has come with its own set of stresses and challenges, but it’s a still a Divine gift.  His fingerprint is all over it.  Will it be here tomorrow, just because He has given it today?  Not  necessarily.  Do I always know the reasons and the times for the courses of my life?  Most definitely not.  One thing that crystalized in my awareness though was that everything in my life that I am overflowing with thankfulness for right now, is a direct result of some bad decision, some wrong turn, and things I’d rather forget.  Through those times, I didn’t know they served any purpose other than to bring me shame and pain.  But there comes a moment when all the good and bad in your life are woven together into a beautiful NOW.

Just trust God…. to give you His mind for what He values most, for how much He loves you no matter what you have done or not done right, to bring good out of any situation, to see that HE is the highest prize we can rejoice in.  Nothing else we strive for in this life will last, except for the glory we give God and the love we pass on to others.

We have to let go of the outcome-based faith and trust Him to have our best interest in mind.   The hard times may work  a better good than the good times.

This week I read something so empowering in Isaiah.

“For this is what the Lord said to me with great power, to keep me from going the way of this people:  Do not call everything an alliance these people say is an alliance.  Do not fear what they fear; do not be terrified.  You are to regard only the LORD of Hosts as holy.  Only He should be feared; only He should be held in awe.  He will be a sanctuary..”

I know I do not want to go “the way of this people”… the way of the world, or lukewarm Christianity either one.  Yes, there are times God will prompt us to specifically pray through in victory against a situation.  But sometimes the painful situation we find ourselves in is exactly what we need, and someday we will thank Him for our suffering as well as our blessings.

He asked the Lord…

November 7, 2011

A pilgrim set out on a journey to find the congregation of God.  He asked, “Lord, where are your people?  Where are those who hold truth in high esteem, skilled in widsom and knowledge of your Word and ways?”  The Lord led him to a fortress where men of great intellect, surrounded by books from many centuries, expounded to each other the truths they understood.  But he found them proud and cold.  He wondered, “Where is the passion and the zeal that is found in the pages they study?”  So he asked, “Lord, where are your people who are zealous and passionate about the truth in your Word?”

The Lord led him to a small band of warriors who were bold to loudly proclaim the truth, and vanquish evil.  Yet they were a cruel, hard people.  They resisted those who wished to join their ranks and often ousted those who fought side by side with them.   They did not have compassion or a heart to advocate for the poor and downtrodden.  The pilgrim asked, “Lord, where are those who do the works You had done when you walked this earth?  Where are those who follow your steps to set the captives free?”

The Lord led him to see scattered servants with great love and heavy burdens on their backs.  Yet they trusted in their own arm to save, the strength of their own might.  They sought the favor and prosperity of other men to carry out the work.  The small empires within their grasp became their lords.   They worked tirelessly with little success, as a drop of rain is lost in a raging river.

“Lord,” he asked, “I know all these love you, and they are your people, but why is my heart still hungry to praise you in the congregation of the redeemed? Where are the people who see You as You are, in all your beauty, strength, faithfulness, mercy, and justice?”

The Lord took the pilgrim by the hand and kindly said, “Son, I told you the Way was narrow, and few would find it.  Now that you have known the question you needed to ask, you are ready for the answer.”  He led him to a room full of light so bright he could barely see.  Gradually his eyes focused and he could see an assembly of people so diverse that it seemed strange to find them all in one place.  Men, women, children of every race and class; rich and poor, slave and free, wise and simple.  Pilgrim asked, “What do all these have that binds them together?”

The Lord said, “They  have been refined in the fires of suffering, humbled in their weakness, yet sustained in their trust of their King.  They have loved Me above all, and each other to the death.”  As Pilgrim looked, he recognized some he had seen in his travels.. a scholar from the fortress with tears streaming down his face, a zealous woman who had taken off her armor, and an old couple who had found true rest in the works of God.  Their faces reflected His peace.

Then the Lord asked the Pilgrim, “Do you desire to join them?”  Pilgrim hung his head in shame.  “I am not worthy to join them.  They are pure and beautiful, as You are.  Why did I think that once I found them, I could join them?”   The King answered, “They are worthy because I am worthy.  If you trust Me as they have, you will love as they love.  You have belonged here from the first moment you began to walk with Me.”

Pilgrim went back out into the land, but no longer a pilgrim, but rather an ambassador in humble service of his King, testifying of the great Love of the King, and the far country where men and angels dwell.  The congregation of the righteous in Jesus Christ.

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Rain Covered Tears

August 12, 2011

Yesterday morning my reading time covered the story of Elijah and the time of no rain in Israel.   I love this story more than most because of the showdown on Mount Carmel that ended the drought.  God proved Himself as the only true God.  I love the words of Elijah, laced with sarcasm, for the prophets of Baal to yell louder because maybe their god is sleeping or on a journey.  Sometimes I wish we had more Mount Carmels in our day.

Then the rain finally comes.  Elijah had declared it by the Word of the Lord but he sent his servant to keep checking.  The rain had to come.  I tried to imagine what it would be like to hear and see that storm rolling in after so many parched days.  When the rains came, the power of the Lord came upon Elijah and he ran ahead of the king’s chariot all the way to the city.

I went about my normal routine, as the day’s weather forecast looked the same as the past many weeks – high of 103 – as it has been 100 or over for the last 46 days in my town with no rain.  The night before I’d told a relative living out of state that it was starting to wear me down, starting to feel a bit “over the edge”.  It’s not just the high day-time temperatures, and the high low temperatures of 85.. but that it has not rained in all that time.  For me, rain is one of the most comforting weather events.  The clouds feel like a cozy blanket and the world gets washed.  The air smells clean and feels full of energy.  To endure heat is one thing.  To miss the rain is a greater test of endurance for me.

Around 1:00 pm my son came home and asked if I’ve  been outside.  He said it had cooled off, and clouds were coming.  About this time I heard a clap of thunder.  I rushed out to my back porch, surveying the possibilities.  The clouds looked like teasers but at this point, I would take the shade and the breeze, and be happy.   Instead, we got a glorious thunderstorm with a very respectable downpour.  I stood out in it and let it soak me to the bone.  I know it’s crazy, but I actually found myself crying for joy.  I had no idea this was coming – no expectation of such a wonderful gift.  It felt like coming back to life.

The theme of the day continued as we sat down to watch a family movie in the evening.  The plot turned out to be about a town without water in the desert, and the hero of the story gets the water back from those who had stolen it.

Water… is life.  But God wants us to see more through the physical need for water that sustains life.  It points to Jesus, the spiritual water that we need even more desperately.  We pray for rain when the drought comes, and this we should do, acknowledging God is the Source and in control of all things.  But how tragic to not even be aware of a spiritual drought, and a famine of the Word of the Lord.  When will our broken cisterns run dry and when will we realize our deepest need?  Yes, He sends the rain and sustains our lives, for the just and the unjust.  But how He longs for hearts to yearn for Him, the Fountain of Living Waters.  When these rains come, there will be more tears of inexpressible joy.

Without Faith

June 14, 2011

And without faith it is impossible to please him, for whoever would draw near to God must believe that he exists and that he rewards those who seek him.
Hebrews 11:6

Believing God exists is most definitely a needful place to start.

But there is secondary unbelief that blocks people from God, which I think is much more common.  I know so many hurting hearts in this category.  The verse in Hebrews presents a two-stage faith.  First we acknowledge He exists.  Without that, nothing else can take place.   But if we don’t then believe the second promise – “He rewards those who seek Him” we are so much like the stiff-necked Israelites who saw the Red Sea part then grumbled that God had brought them into the desert to die when they faced a deprivation.  They knew He existed and was incredibly powerful. What they doubted was His goodness.

And they continued to doubt.  Repeatedly.  Only two men out of an entire nation delivered from Egypt entered the Promise of the land!  The nation that entered had been born in the wilderness.

This unbelief continued to lead them into idolatry over and over – looking to other gods or nations’ armies for prosperity and protection, until eventually they had become so wicked as to sacrifice their own children.  God took them out of their Promised Land to be servants and prisoners in another country… but not forever.  He gave them this reassurance as His children:

For I know the plans I have for you, declares the LORD, plans for welfare and not for evil, to give you a future and a hope.  Then you will call upon me and come and pray to me, and I will hear you.  You will seek me and find me, when you seek me with all your heart.
Jeremiah 29:11-13

Many wandering hearts today have been told of the mercies of God but have grown to doubt they would ever benefit from it.  “God may love and save others, but not me,” they believe.  They look to other means to cope with life and other people to reassure them of their worth.  Their idols fail them.

Others have never heard the truth about God and reject the false pictures they have been given.  They despair there is a God and if He exists, He would be too cruel to love and serve.  Yet they don’t imagine that maybe they have not known who He really is.

Some have both seen and tasted that the LORD is good, but are losing in their battle against their own desires.  They succumb to the lie that they had their chance, now it’s gone, and God won’t keep forgiving them.  They feel separated and lost.  They cannot even face God in honesty about their failure for Him to be their deliverer.   They believe the lie that there is no hope left and their problem is bigger than the power of God.

Even long-time followers of Jesus at times have weak moments and place their trust in something other than Him.  They turn their hearts to what they can see and touch.  Answers seem to be delayed and in the panic of the waiting time we decide to work things out for ourselves.  In our “pull yourself up by your own bootstrap” culture, maybe we don’t even THINK to rely on God in some situations.  He may lead us to work hard, see a doctor,  find a counselor, or accept help from friends, but in the end the question is, “Who is the ultimate Source for provision, power, and direction in life?”  He still asks for our whole heart.

I don’t interpret God’s love as something that gives me whatever I think I want right now either.  Doubt can come from the false promises of false teachers.  I trust His love because He has promised it – not because life following Him is always easy.  He lets me know He is near, in all my ways and circumstances.

All of these, and other causes too numerous to mention, have prevented so many from grasping the Promise that God rewards those who seek Him!  In other words…. if you run into Daddy’s arms, He is not going to push you away.  Most people in this world have never had a loving daddy to run to that didn’t let us down, criticize, or worse yet – harm us,  so it’s hard for us to imagine.  But the heart of Jesus as God became Man was completely for you as He died on the cross…”for the joy that was before Him”… of being together with you.   He cannot do more to show you, He can’t give more to prove it to you.  It is hard to believe something so foreign, but believe it we must.

People imagine many reasons why they are separated from God, why they are not good enough, why they will never be.  Yet the chasm between “I am afraid of You”  and “I believe You love me” is breached with one step to the Cross in honesty about who we are.   In truth, we worship God, offering all we are and have been.  The blood flowing from that cross says.. “I am enough for both of us.”  We think there are so many things we must do to please God.  What pleases God?  Believe IN Him and  BELIEVE Him.

Do not neglect so great a love… believe it is real, and for you!  Seek Him with your whole heart.

And it shall come to pass that everyone who calls
upon the name of the Lord shall be saved.’

Acts 2:21 

For the eyes of the LORD run to and fro throughout the whole earth, to give strong support to those whose heart is blameless toward him
2 Chronicles 16:9

 

The Highs and the Lows

April 23, 2011

This may borderline as a “diary blog” today, but this week has been intensely happy and sad.  Palm Sunday we were privileged to see the baptisms of two wonderful people who have chosen a very hard path to follow Christ.  Being true to the truth has cost them jobs and relationships.  It may sound glamorous but when you get down to the nitty gritty of living it out, it’s just a hard, one-day-at-a-time faith walk on a tightrope with arrows of doubt being shot at you from all directions.  They must really believe it’s true!  They must have found Someone worth more than all they had gained before.  And I know they have found Him to be faithful.

Yesterday I received news about two different families.  We had been very close to both in the same tight-knit spiritual community for about six years.  For different reasons, we no longer have contact with either of them.  One family lost a son, and the other gave birth to one.  It’s hard to watch the joy and pain of people you love from a distance.  I badly wanted to hug them both during these times when their lives will never be the same.  But I grieve, rejoice, and pray, from a distance.

This morning, I was at the gas pump.  Nothing out of the ordinary except the price.  I noticed a man sitting in a car in the next lane, not pumping gas.  Just sitting there.  As I was finishing up I turn around and see he is approaching me.  My first thought was he was selling something.  But he smiled when he saw my Christian t-shirt and simply said, “I felt like God wanted me to just tell you He loves you.”  I was taken completely by surprise and relieved at the same time.  That was all he wanted to say, and went back to his car.  All I could manage to say was, “Thank you & Happy Easter!”

The week has been very surreal, full of surprises!  I am praying for a few more surprises.  He knows what I want for Easter, as if.. it would have been enough… as the Passover song says.

Below are the words to a song that expresses the meaning of this week more than anything I’ve heard in a long time.  If you are used to soft, mellow music, I suggest you do not look this up for a listen, but the words are raw, real, and passionate.

Believe it, then live like it’s true.

Lower Still

by My Epic

Look, He is covered in dirt, and the blood of His mother has mixed with the earth,  and she’s just a child who’s throbbing in pain from the terror of birth by the light of a cave.

Now they’ve laid that small Baby where creatures come eat
like a meal for the swine who have no clue that He
is still holding together the world that they see
they don’t know just how low
but He has to go lower still.

Look, now He’s washing their feet!
Though they’re all filthy fishermen, traitors, and thieves.
Now He’s pouring His heart out and they’re all falling asleep,
but He has to go lower still.

There is greater love to show!
Hands to the plow!
Further down now!
Blood must flow!
All these steps are personal!
All His shame is ransom!

Oh do you see? do you see just how low He has come?
Do you see it now?
No one takes from Him.
You can’t take what He freely gives away

Beat in His face, tear the skin off His back.
Lower still.  Lower still.
Strip off His clothes, make him crawl through the streets.
Lower still.  Lower still.
Hang Him like meat on a criminals tree
Lower still.  Lower still.
Bury His corpse in the earth like a seed like a seed, like a seed.
Lower still….

The earth explodes, she cannot hold Him.  And all therein is placed beneath Him.  And death itself no longer reigns, it cannot keep the ones He gave Himself to save.  And as the universe shatters, the darkness dissolves, He alone will be honored.

We will bath in His splendor as..

All heads bow lower still!  All heads bow lower still!!

An Old Friend

April 4, 2011

Dedicated to some very special people I have known

No matter how many years pass by, the place where your life crossed over mine cannot be erased.  Time, circumstance, distance – sometimes in miles, other times in minds – set us again on different paths, but the crossing point remains.

In past times there would only be memories… or if I could walk down your street, catch a glimpse by chance.  But in this age there are pictures.  I can see your face.  Read your words.  Observe that your life is well and blessed, and I am thankful, even if I am no longer a part of it.

There are things in my house that you once touched, a name that has been carried on, a change that you affected in the course of events in my life, and I in yours.

In the moment of love we do not see that it is only a moment, a seat together from one bus stop to the next, the passengers in constant flux.

I remember you in my prayers, that wherever you go – you continue to share the radiance with the world that you shared with me – and that we meet again in a time and place where fellowship is never interrupted.

Closet Perspectives

March 5, 2011

I don’t know when it happened, but somewhere in the last few years, I lost interest in clothes.  Don’t fear that I have joined a nudist colony, because I do wear them!   I just seem to have lost my desire to acquire.

I started to write this post over a year ago, but my relationship with my closet has deteriorated even further than when I first began to notice this trend.  But here is where I first began to ponder these things.

My husband works for people who build really big houses.  He gets to install all the fancy trim and shelving.  He comes home with stories of closets that are nearly the size of our house, and that’s just the woman’s side.  The husband has his own all to himself.  One day I was privileged to walk through one such unfinished “closet”.   (If it’s almost the same size as your bedroom, shouldn’t you call it something else?)  I was trying to imagine filling up all the hanging space, drawer space, shoe space, sweater space, overhead storage space, and still – space to spare.  I may have done better figuring how many Earths would fill up a Jupiter.

I am not the least bit jealous of these closets, nor am I trying to criticize anyone for enjoying the good things in life they have worked hard to earn.  This is just about relativity

When we were looking for a house, I wanted three things; a dishwasher, garbage disposal, and a walk-in closet.  I got two of the three.  Guess which two?  You guessed right. Not the closet.

Instead, the “master bedroom” (named thusly because it has a door that leads to the only bathroom without having to go through the hallway entrance) has a smaller closet than the tiny room across the hall.  Go figure.  When we moved in, my closet didn’t even have a rod or any shelves… just open space.  My handy husband soon had a shelf and a rod, but I later convinced him to put in a second rod for me under the first one, so I could have my very own – one I could reach!  This was a happy day.  Now our closet looks something like this.

Not long ago I did something very silly.  I measured the width of space my clothes took up, and counted how many pieces were hanging.  The total came to 100 pieces, give or take a few in the laundry, and three feet of closet space.  You know what’s even funnier?  I don’t wear most of them very often.  I live in jeans and t-shirts, and dressing up for me is a shirt that’s not a t-shirt, with jeans, and something other than my sneakers on my feet.  Yes, I can do better, but only if I have to.

There used to be a time when I never felt satisfied with the clothes I had.  I carried around a mental list of what I needed to buy, or find match for.  But now contentment has started to creep in, and the thought of keeping my wardrobe up to date just makes me tired.  Now I know why the little old ladies still wear polyester!  This little old lady will cling to her denim.

Compared to many people in this world, 100 pieces of clothing is a luxury and possibly even a burden, if you don’t have a permanent home.  I am not envious or jealous of those who have more.  I already know I am blessed – not with things, but in genuine thankfulness for the best things in life.. none of which I keep in my closet.

And why are you anxious about clothing? Consider the lilies of the field, how they grow: they neither toil nor spin, yet I tell you, even Solomon in all his glory was not arrayed like one of these.  But if God so clothes the grass of the field, which today is alive and tomorrow is thrown into the oven, will he not much more clothe you, O you of little faith?  Therefore do not be anxious, saying, ‘What shall we eat?’ or ‘What shall we drink?’ or ‘What shall we wear?’  For the Gentiles seek after all these things, and your heavenly Father knows that you need them all.  But seek first the kingdom of God and his righteousness, and all these things will be added to you.

Matthew 6:28-33

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