Perhaps it may turn out a sang,
Perhaps turn out a sermon.

-- R. Burns Epistle to a Young Friend

Friday, June 19, 2015

Wardrobe Malfunctions

[A]nd to be renewed in the spirit of your minds, and to put on the new self, created after the likeness of God in true righteousness and holiness -- Ephesians 4:23-24

This has been a busy week, not a particularly bad one, but it seems as though it went by too fast.  I did not get everything done that I would like.  We have had non-stop rain here for the last six days.  Now we have the remnants of tropical storm (or depression or whatever) Bill pouring torrential amounts of water out of the sky.  Therefore my grass is going to be a foot high before I get a chance to cut it.  (Saturday is no good for other reasons.)  So I got some things done that are not part of my usual weekly routine.  For example, I got a haircut.  I guess it had been a while.  My wife got me started going to this shop at the mall, and this was probably my third haircut since February.  I went in and asked if they would have time to work me in that evening (Tuesday, I think).  The girl – not the usual 40ish woman – said to give her twenty minutes. 

While I was waiting -- it's the mall, right? -- I went looking for a summer sport coat to wear to church.  I found one in my size in a lightweight, kind of tan material that should work with brown, black, gray and probably navy pants.  I tried it on, paid for it, took it out and hung it up in my car, and came back in to finish waiting for my haircut.  I got my money’s worth on the haircut.  I said, “Just make it high and tight.”  She did.  There is nothing left to mat down under my helmet.  I’m probably good for the rest of the summer.  I gave her a generous gratuity despite the fact that she was talkative. 

Then tonight I took some stuff to Goodwill.  I’m going to take more -- none of Vickie’s stuff.  I can’t do that.  Her shoes are still where she left them on the steps up out of the garage.  Another pair of her shoes, her coat, and some other clothes are still in the laundry room.  I don’t know when I’ll even be able to move them back to her closet.  Anyway, I’m cleaning out some of my things that are just taking up space.  I’ll get rid of some old suits and other clothes that I don’t wear any more this fall probably.  I bought that new sport coat because the ones I’m going to take to Goodwill are out of style and have funky colors.  Some of them I think I got from Goodwill, and they were cheap but they never fit me well. 

I suppose I could take one of those old jackets to a tailor and have it let out in the chest and taken in the waist, have some of that padding pulled out of the shoulders, etc.  One time I was talking to a contractor about how he got started.  He said he learned a little about a lot of trades as a kid because his dad was always working on their old house.  He said it seemed like they were always adding and remodeling and refinishing one room or another.  He chuckled a little and asked, “You know what we had when we were done?”  I shook my head.  He said, “An old house.” 

Some of us try to fix up the old self.  We try to reform it and clean it up.  We work and work to make the old self more presentable and attractive and acceptable, to get it to conform to God’s law and His standards.  When we are done we have the old self.  The leopard has not changed his spots. 

God doesn’t call us to reform.  He has a better way.  He says all a person has to do is take the old self off and toss it, pitch it, throw it away.  We don’t need it.  He offers us this glorious new self that does not need reform.  It is already in the likeness of God in righteousness and holiness.  We don’t need to work and worry to get righteous because we have put on Christ, and we are clothed in His righteousness.   

It’s amazing.  Look at it again:  put on the new self, created after the likeness of God in true righteousness and holiness.  That’s it.

I really wish I could be a good person.  I’d like to live in a way that’s pleasing to God.  I’m all messed, though.  I have all these stains, cigarette burns, and tears and holes in awkward places.  I can’t go before God like this.  But I can … put on the Lord Jesus Christ (Romans 13:14). 


julie said...

Amen. And if I could, I'd give you a big hug.

mushroom said...

I appreciate it. I'm really doing OK.

I have denied a lot because there has been a lot to do, and I don't always have time to let grief work on me.

One thing I've started doing that helps me is sharing photographs with the kids and grandkids. I took a lot of pictures of Vickie, especially of her and the grandkids over the last twenty years. I want them to remember how much she just loved being with them and how much fun she was to be around.

It's a terrible joy that hurts to heal.

Ann Kellett said...

Amen! Beautiful post. Thank you.

mushroom said...

Thanks, Ann.

USS Ben USN (Ret) said...

Thank God we can put on Christ.
Terrible joy does hurt to heal, my friend, but it's better than not healing, and just experiencing the terrible...I reckon.
This takes time, and everything, everything is different. Spending as much time as you can with your family and friends will help.
I still got most of Patti's things. Sure, they're just things, but they remind me of her. Just like photos but in a different way.

God bless you, Dwiane.

mushroom said...

Just over six months for me and a year for you. I guess it gets easier sometime.

Our daughter came down for a couple of days. We both broke down crying before she left yesterday. We'd taken the youngest grandson to a baseball game Saturday, and, as much fun as we had, it was hard not to think how much more laughter and silliness there would have been if Grandma had been there with us.

Rick said...

You are an inspiration, Dwaine.
Thank you.

mushroom said...

I don't know how I would have made it without you all.

USS Ben USN (Ret) said...

Same here, brother. I thank God for all my fellow Raccoons! What a blessing!