One of the things I love about this week is how goofy everyone looks. Taken off guard by the 80 degree weather, folks are scrambling together outfits appropriate to the day, while too busy to actually root through the attic to find their decent summer clothes. Some people don’t trust the forecast; pointing determinedly at their calendars, they remain scarf-wrapped and Ugg-shod. Others seem to be hedging their bets: wearing shorts and a wrinkly t-shirt pulled out of a back corner of the dresser, but with a sweater wrapped around their waist.
The #71 bus this morning was like a scene from “What Not to Wear,” starting with me. I grabbed a t-shirt and shorts from my drawer this morning, before heading off for a retreat day at the SSJE monastery. My 9 yr old daughter pointed at my yellow-and-red plaid Bermuda shorts and said warily, “You’re going out in that? You look terrible.” She was right, of course. But I wore them anyway. (She looked great, by the way, in a tie-died pink t-shirt and leopard-print yoga pants; just the right ensemble for taking the MCAS).
Renee Miller’s Strength for the Journey reflects on a wide variety of spiritual practices, like journaling, knitting, praying, and walking. It’s a great book. But there’s no chapter on dressing. Perhaps there should be. After all, it’s a daily practice, and if we are called to do all things prayerfully, all things in the light of Christ, then why not dressing?
Here is my prayer for getting dressed on a surprisingly warm March 21st in the Boston area:
Giver of all time and space and life,
you knit me together in my mother’s womb
and wrap me in the embrace of your love at all times;
as I dress for the day ahead,
let me also clothe myself in your grace,
thankful for the clothes on my back,
lacking in style and charm as they may be.
As I put on my flip-flops (or crocs or teva’s, or insert ugly footwear here),
let me remember you, whose sandals John was not worthy to untie,
the touch of whose garment healed a broken heart,
the gift of whose life clothes me with hope.