Wednesday, June 16, 2010

Worn and Made New

Ever have one of those 'I need retail therapy!' days? You look in the mirror, or in your drawers, and although there is a reflection and plenty of clothes--nothing looks good anymore--there is simply 'nothing to wear'. Our husbands(or significant others) shake their heads, not understanding this common dilemma. My guy will wear a shirt, or pair of jeans, until it is 'too holey' to wear anywhere, let alone a place of worship(pun intended)! If I dare give these tattered items away, or worse yet--throw them out--he will know...they always find out, somehow.

The clothes, hanging in the closet or on our bodies-- stretched out from laundering and little fingers tugging at the hems, don't look as appealing as they did on the rack from last year's clearance special. Such is the nature of tangible items, here on earth. Everything in this world goes from order to disarray. If you have children, you see this happen on a moment by moment, daily basis. No matter how much we straighten up or put away, the stuff we collect finds its way out of its proper place...again and again.

This lesson really hit home to me, 2 years ago, after my mom passed away. I realized how futile it was to live only for the things this life could offer. In a moment, it can all be taken away. And in 3 short years, a very special person was removed from this life and graduated on to eternity. Oh, how I miss her. She was such a beautiful person, inside and out. My mom had such style and a way with her wardrobe. As a little girl, I would watch her change outfits or put on eyeshadow, wishing that I could be a 'big girl', in that moment, so I could do the same. Now life has come full-circle as my own little Samantha looks up at the noisy hairdryer, handing me the bottle hairspray(she knows the routine).

One of my favorite pieces that Mom often wore was her Psalm 23 necklace. Given to her by a relative, this sterling circle with those timeless verses inscribed on the front, were a source of comfort and strength as she battled through her illness. She had it on the day of the funeral, as she did on most days, during that period of her life. It was then that I realized how much it would mean for me to wear that necklace, as a reminder of the strength from which she drew upon. I treasure that gift for the memories that it holds and for what it stands for.

I like the words written in the book of James: "Every good gift and every perfect gift is from above, and comes down from the Father of lights, with whom there is no variation or shadow of turning. Of His own will He brought us forth by the word of truth, that we might be a kind of first fruits of His creatures"(chapter 1). All that I have been given, all that can be given away, all of it comes from God...and it is good and perfect. My talents and abilities are also gifts, not only for me to enjoy but to bring joy to others and glory to God, the Creator of all things.

I can spend my time and energy, chasing after the temporary things of this life, thinking that they will satisfy me. They will, for a little while. Like the shirt that I bought last year; it was new and fun at the it's worn and ready to be replaced(yea for that!). What peace there is when you know the Source of all that we have been given. Cling to giver of life, and not to the things that will fade away. Zero in your focus on what you can leave behind, or send on into eternity. For me, that means relationships with others. It's much harder than staying home in my comfort zone. It sometimes means misunderstandings and hurts, but it is worth the risk.

The visible reminders of how temporary this life is helps me remember that "faith is the substance of things hoped for, the evidence of things not seen...By faith, we understand that the worlds were framed by the word of God, so that the things which are seen were not made of things which are visible"(taken from the book of Hebrews, chapter 11; italics mine). Wow, how awesome is our God. So much that we can hardly get our heads around such a concept as this. All the more reason to trust Him; to rest in where He has me and enjoy what He has given to me.