I was looking at some of my kids clothes the other day. I’ve never been one to hang onto things for sentimental reasons. I’ve not been someone who passes hand me downs down until they are threadbare and just down right ugly. I’m a fresh and new kind of gal.
However, sometimes even in their closets I forget that just because I made it this season and I really like it, and it is SOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOo cute doesn’t mean that it isn’t tatty. I see it as it looked the first time my child wore it. I see it in all the adorable glory that it once had. Have you ever done that? Your oldest daughter had a favorite dress. Maybe it was bubblegum pink sprinkled with little white flowers and yellow centers. There was a crisp white collar trimmed in pretty lace. She loved that dress. She’d have worn it every Sunday (and Monday through Saturday too) if you would have allowed her to. However, as all favorite dresses do, this one grew too short. It hit mid-knee cap and then the top of the knee. Fortunately winter was almost there so it worked to pack it away.
A second daughter grew tall enough to wear it a year or two later. How exciting it was to pull out that beloved dress. Big sis talked about how much she’d loved it and marvelled at how it now hit her thighs like a long shirt. Again, the daughter wore the dress as often as she could. She to loved the happy flowers and developed her own special memories of the dress. The day daddy took just her out for ice cream after church. The birthday party where she got to bust open the pinata. And after a while, mom realized that it was becoming a smidge worn and maybe could be worn for an “every day” dress now that there were other clothes to wear to church. As it did before, the dress eventually became too short as the daughter grew.
Another daughter grows tall enough for it. Maybe it’s been a year or two or maybe there was a brother or two in between those girls. The big sisters go though the clothin boxes with mom and pull out their favorite dress. They’re so excited to see that it finally fits their little sister. They put it on her. It’s so cute! She wears it. And wears it. And wears it. Mom and sisters see the dress through nostalgic glasses. They see a bubblegum pink dress with white daisies and yellow centers. They see a crisp white collar with pretty lace. It’s a perfect length just two inches below the knee. Long enough for modesty but short enough to make the style perfect.
Dad comes home from work one day and sees his precious little girl bound up to him. For the first time, he sees the dress on his daughter as others do. The pink is pale and dingy. The fabric is threadbare. The collar isn’t crisp and only faintly resembles the bright white it once did. The lace is tatty and torn in places. The pretty flowers look wilted and greyed. They aren’t so pretty anymore. He doesn’t remember the dress. Like many men, he doesn’t know what clothes his children have or don’t have. He knows his family just got home from an outing and wonders why his wife is allowing their child to run around town looking like a street urchin of days gone by. It takes the fresh eyes of someone who doesn’t have those rose (or bubble gum pink in this instance) colored glasses to show the ladies in his family exactly how worn and ugly the dress has become.
So much of our life is like that isn’t it? We don’t see that the wear and tear of the years has made our homes look abused or neglected. We don’t realize how limp our hair is from lack of attention. We don’t see the effect of cobwebs on our brains until we are faced with a real crisis in knowledge. We quit ironing years ago. Our clothes prove it. Maybe we quit takign care of our skin, our teeth, our wardrobe, or our heart. Is your heart suffering from neglect? Have you taken time to clothe it with the mantle of Scripture? Are your sheets holely or you curtains filthy? Is your white shower curtain orange?
Do we see life as it is, as we want it to be, or do we still see it as it once was? Is our bubble gum pink dress crisp and fresh, or have we let it get faded, threadbare, and limp? Is it time to let those old favorites go and find a few new favorites?