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What to wear?

A friend of mine has recently been eating healthier and working out to the point where she has lost an unbelievable amount of weight. She looks great, and feels even better. So, with Easter creeping up on her, she felt compelled for the first time in a while to find a joyous color to wear on this holiest of days. But, to her great displeasure, she couldn't find anything that made her heart swoon. This opened up the conversation about the pressure we put upon ourselves wear certain adornments, especially to church.

Count me among that number. I'm quite the clotheshorse. Not that I necessarily shop at expensive places, but I always feel a certain need to be, what we in the South call, well put together. I find that I'm drawn to that bright colored pair of high heels, even when my wallet is begging me to keep walking. I convince myself I really need that oh-so-soft and well cut shirt. It will go with so many things! It's an investment, really.

Now, don't get me wrong. I'm not so plagued by this habit that it is causing me to go into debt. I don't hide purchases from my husband (that often), and I can and have walked away from unecessary purchases (sometimes). But the real question is, why does it matter.

When going to work or to a high class function, the pressure to look professional or "done up" (another Souther euphamism), is understandable. But why the need to adorn ourselves before the Lord, who, in truth, sees beyond our teased highlighted hair and suede pumps. He isn't fooled by our finery. No, he sees to the core, to the root of who we really are and all we may be trying to hide.

I find that I'm even passing on my small obsession to my two boys. When it's time for church, I'm very particular about what they wear. It must be pressed, tucked, pleated to perfection. And I find myself agonizing in the weeks leading up to Easter about what they will wear into His House.

When I was talking to my friend about this topic, I thought about the origins of the church. Held often outdoors, the early Christian church was led by men and women who most likely did not tease their hair, or even wear deoderant. Their shoes were dirty; their smell stout from being in the desert. But their hearts were clean. They came to the Lord with a hunger and a thirst for His word. They didn't head to Target for a bargain sweater vest; they probably didn't iron their pants. Instead, they focused on ironing their souls.

This week, as I humbly enter His House to remember what He sacrificed for me, I'm not going to be so concerned about how I come off to the rest of the congregation. I won't agonize over how many hairs are in place on my kids' heads. Instead, I'll stop and recall how, leading up to this day, Jesus wore nothing more than a loin cloth and sweat; how, on this day, he shed His earthly-ness for me. Shouldn't I be willing to at least try to do the same for Him?


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