If most of us are ashamed of shabby clothes and shoddy furniture, let us be more ashamed of shabby ideas and shoddy philosophies…. It would be a sad situation if the wrapper were better than the meat wrapped inside it. ~Albert Einstein
When you consider girls selling their bodies each night for a chance to survive, each encounter robbing her a bit more of dignity, worth, and hope, getting dressed each day seems inconsequential. Petty even. First world problems of the entitled.
I’ve struggled with finding meaning in everything. I always struggle to find balance within my extreme personality.
At times I have admired the ascetics purging themselves of all physical luxuries to pursue the spiritual, verging dangerously dividing the sacred and the secular.
I have also been enticed by materialism, promising comfort and security and the American dreams of prosperity and glamour.
But the gospel is found in neither of these. For it is not by radical acts of poverty, nor by denial of human need or indulgence in what the world offers that we find our savior or our salvation.
He is concerned with body and soul, spirit and truth. He is concerned with beauty. He is concerned with His creation.
I always equated that to the internal heart matters. After all, God says that He looks upon our hearts. That being a godly woman, a Proverbs 31 type icon meant I should care little about how I looked as that was simply vain and worldly.
I took tremendous pains with my appearance before I knew the Lord. Shouldn’t that all change now that I had more important things to dedicate my life to?
I vacillate wildly between being fashion oriented and being your run of the mill slob in yoga pants, a stretched out t-shirt two sizes too big and a pony tail. I have three kids, I home school, I clean chocolate stains off the floor from the pudding pop my son left to melt on the carpet. I don’t need to look glamorous. And so by default I turn to comfort. And comfort turns to slobby.
Because the truth is when you have a weight problem, you don’t really want to get dressed. You think, what difference does it make? I am just me, stuffed into clothing. Each seam bulging in mockery.
And it’s easy to say it doesn’t matter, that clothes are really insignificant in the grand scheme of things. Birds of the air and flowers clothed gloriously and all that. But there’s a lie in there, because worrying about what I’m to wear and caring are two very separate things.
I used to comfort myself by looking at woman who had every hair in place and their makeup perfectly applied, their outfits a montage of the best Pinterest has to offer. Their love for running or Pilates evident in toned arms and healthy glow. I found solace in thinking they were shallow and spent all their time in the mirror trying to be the fairest.
I thought it contemptible that with the weightier matters of life, style and vanity consumed them. But the truth is, my heart was jealous. I had no idea what their hearts were like because I avoided them altogether. I broke fellowship because of flesh.
I always felt less than. And that is a soul issue. That is a heart issue. A body issue. A hurt issue.
So I was wrong. Because it does matter.
God made women with intrinsic beauty. And when I stop caring about that, I stop caring about how God created me. It’s not about makeup and clothes and hours spent working my body into an idol, but it is about stewardship and worship. I dim the reflection of Him when I think this body doesn’t matter. We are not just soul or spirit, but flesh. This body isn’t separate from me, it is as much me as my soul and my mind.
It’s a false sense of humility to say, I don’t care what I look like. It is both boastful and banal to claim indifference when it’s really insecurity that keeps me zipped up in my husband’s sweatshirts and yoga pants. It is camouflage for a fat girl in this body conscious world. But the only thing obscured is my image of myself, pleasing to God, worthy of care, beautiful.
This is where I find myself as I pursue this Purpose Project. It is a false dichotomy to say them or me. It is both. My heart breaks for those women who don’t know hope and whose image has been tarnished by this cruel world.
But it should also care that God is at work in my own heart. That I would believe the very message I hope for those women. That I would embrace beauty and call it my own, not just for my sake, but for theirs.
If you would like to partner with me and Mocha Club to help rescue a woman from the life of prostitution and endow her with the message of God’s love of her as His divine creation, would you click here and donate?
Together we can do this. At the end of February, if I’ve reached my goal of $400.00 I will take my own advice and begin to dress for the day I want to have. Help to hold me accountable?
Related Post: Alia’s Dress for Change Project