Friday, October 19, 2012

Simplifying Life: Clothes--That's a Wrap!

photo credit:
I find myself just mere days from being done with Month Two: Clothes Fast. It's been a somewhat different challenge than I thought it would be. There were times (most days) when wearing only 7 articles of clothing was no big thang (yep, in the south, we say "thang"). I learned that although I thought in the beginning that everyone was noticing my repetitions and whispering about my wardrobe, surprisingly, the were not. People don't obsess about other's attire. In fact, I wholeheartedly believe people think about me a whole lot less than I always thought that they did. I've been a bit "put in my place" as of late. The only one who cared that I wore my Thunder T-shirt 22 times in 30 days was me. 

I've gained some internal perspective about myself. I'm a bit vain. There, I said it. I feel sometimes like I should say it in front of a group of addicts just like me and have them nod in sympathy at my epiphany. I am vain. It doesn't taste good coming out in the open. I truthfully was not aware of this before. And maybe I struggle with vanity even less than a lot of people, but for me, it's a frustration. I do care what people think of me. That's been made clear this month and I am taking the steps I need to take to get God's help in this matter. It will probably always be something that I struggle with, but I'm learning to let God take my insecurities to teach me that though I like to dress up the "outside of me", He totally sees past all the fancy clothes and make-up.  It's a scary and lovely feeling all at once.

I'm glad I learned to live this month unattached to "looking cute" and no one died. Family was unimpressed. Life carried on.  I realized that I could live my real life on a fraction of my previous wardrobe, and nothing significant would be altered. In fact, most days the simplicity of it all was a blessed relief.

This whole month brought me closer to a God who is calling me up to do ministry and belong to a community that is known for a different kind of beauty, the kind that heals and inspires. I am constantly reminded lately that Jesus was a simple man, plain-looking by human standards:

He grew up before him like a tender shoot, and like a root out of dry ground.  He had no beauty or majesty to attract us to him, nothing in his appearance that we should desire him.  He was despised and rejected by men, a man of sorrow, and familiar with suffering.  Like one from whom men hide their faces he was despised, and we esteemed him not.  (Isaiah 23:2-3)

Jesus wasn't looked at in the same way that we view Brad Pitt or Ryan Gosling.  He wasn't attractive or flashy or tried to draw attention to himself. But make no mistake, He was definitely noticed. He was approachable to everyone, and that's why people flocked to be near him. I recognized this month the "approachable-ness" of people. Some people can intimidate others merely by their wardrobe. Some can attract people too. But I feel a specific empathy to help those that are poor and broken and depressed and need to hear that God is looking past the outward appearance. That was the message that I so desperately needed to hear a year ago and I'm thankful that I found "approachable" people who I didn't feel like would judge me based on the way that I looked. Jen Hatmaker says in her book "7" that I'm basing this fasting from, "We cannot carry the gospel to the poor and lowly while emulating the practices of the rich and powerful.  We've been invited into a story that begins with humility and ends with glory; never the other way around." I finally get it, Lord. Less flash, more sass. It's more about perspective and personality that it is about the glitz and the glamour. I plan to realign and live accordingly. :)

Read all about Month Three's Project Here

1 comment:

  1. Michelle,
    I do believe people notice a lot less than we think they do. I even try to see what I notice. I do not remember hardly anything anyone wore at all from one day to the next. What I do remember is how they treat people and how they treat me. I was surprised one day my pastor said "oh you are growing a beard". This was after I had only had it over 10 years. I should not be surprised because I remember one day trying to remember when my dad was living if he had a mustache or not. I had no idea. I think people stop looking at our outsides once they know us and generally on observe how we act.