Clothed With Care
“Therefore, as God’s chosen people, holy and dearly loved, clothe yourselves with compassion, kindness, humility, gentleness, and patience.” Colossians 3:12 NIV
Recently, I arrived in Paris just days after Paris Fashion Week wrapped up. Paris and Parisians are known for their extraordinary beauty and fashion statements. Even in the most casual settings, it is obvious that they put great thought and care into what they wear. No man would dare go to dinner without a jacket, even in the heat of summer, and dresses abound; not a single pair of shorts or sweats to be found. Little did I know that one week later I would go from being surrounded by dresses and suits to scrubs and tennis shoes, where a nurse would be waiting in a doorway to tell us my mom had just gone home to heaven. One week I have the honor of praying in Normandy at the Memorial Cemetery, and days later we are burying my mom in another.
In these sudden shifts in our lives, we must pause and process all our thoughts and emotions in prayer. God’s timeline is not disconnected, and we can often see how God prepared us or has something to teach us if we take time to seek Him. That week as I was thanking God for all the people showering our family with prayer, kindness, and compassion, I remembered the sympathy in the nurses’ eyes and the compassion in her voice that grabbed my attention as we stepped in the door, and not the scrubs she wore. In that moment God reminded me of all the times my mom had said, “Pretty is, as pretty does.” I think this old saying is a “revised version” of Colossians 3:12. While fancy clothes may make a fashion statement, compassion, kindness, humility, gentleness, and patience make a faith statement that can mark a moment with priceless comfort, strength, or care that someone may treasure for a lifetime.
As God’s deeply loved children our wardrobe is distinctly different than that of the world. In a culture that often seems so divided, angry, impatient, and hurtful, kindness can be a warm and welcomed surprise. Someone walking out these thoughtful and fruitful Colossians 3:12 characteristics stands out more beautifully than any person to ever make the cover of a fashion magazine. As God’s chosen people, holy and dearly loved, it is vital that we are not wearing cultural camouflage that behaves and blends in with the rest of the world. We cannot let our hearts get hard and our “clothes” get stained by people who are expressing pain, rather, we remain clothed in kindness, recognizing the pain of others as a need for a fresh encounter with a faithful, fruitful Christian that reflects and directs them to the love of Jesus.
On behalf of my family and from the depths of my heart, thank you for all of your prayers, the kind cards and emails sent to us, and the generous donations given to the National Day of Prayer Task Force in memory of my mom. I am deeply grateful to all of you. This painful season will forever be remembered as one surrounded and saturated in the beauty of those clothed in the character of Christ. Thank you.
Will you join me in prayer?
Lord Jesus, thank you for the beauty You call us to wear with care. Holy Spirit, compel us to surround and saturate all that we think, say, and do in compassion, kindness, humility, gentleness, and patience. Make Your glorious presence known in our lives and cause spiritual fruitfulness to abound in every behavior, conversation, response, and even in the hardest and most hurtful moments we pray that the love You extend to us will pour through us to draw the lost and hurting to You. May we never forget the grace You have given to us as we make the most of every opportunity to obey and glorify You always. Thank You that we are Your children, called and clothed in Your love. In Jesus name, amen.
Serving Him with gladness,