Sunday, January 26, 2014

Shirt And Tie




(Me in a suit wearing perhaps the same offending white shirt I wore today. The young lady in the shot is one of my former WCS students, Theresa Nguyen Stelzer.)

Today is Sunday. During this school year, as I have chronicled, my wonderful 

freshman student Jean picks out what I will wear from the shirts and ties I bring to my classroom along with a chart of my pants/shoes/belts. In the cause and effect department, I have noticed a direct correlation between Jean's arrival on my fashion scene and the number of compliments I receive in regards to wardrobe. Unfortunately, I do not have access to Jean and her fashion skill on the weekend. Typically, I wear a suit and tie to Sunday morning services. I have eight white shirts and I typically don't wear them to school so I wear all eight before washing them in one load. This morning, I pulled a clean one out of my closet and turned on the iron. I fought the same minor mental skirmish as always- do I iron the back as no one will see it anyway? But I did- it bothers me not to, like my mom, rest her soul, would be mortified if I didn't. Then, I noticed the blood stain. It was about half the size of a dime and it was right to the left of the button line in the front. It's odd- who bleeds from the stomach? But, there it was. I thought about going back into the closet and getting another but decided to stand my ground. After all, I always wear a tie and no one would possibly see the blood spot unless the tie got twisted or pushed to the side. And so I wore my less than pristine white shirt to worship at 9 AM, crimson blotch and all.

Our sermon this morning by Dave Yasko was about addiction, which always carries with it the implication of cover up. Nobody sees, nobody knows, nobody guesses- at least not at first. Most of us, maybe all of us, have something to hide or at least attempt to minimize the awareness of others. We think no one will understand and we might be shunned or even worse, pitied. But shouldn't it be the nature of believers to catch their sisters and brothers when they fall as we all inevitably will? Look at what Jude wrote in verses 22-23 of his short book:

Be merciful to those who doubt;  save others by snatching them from the fire; to others show mercy, mixed with fear—hating even the clothing stained by corrupted flesh.
It might be a stretch to compare my very slightly tainted shirt with addictions and mercy but then again, it might not. Doesn't every addiction/bad habit/harmful behavior start as a small or even tiny action, a mere blip on the radar of our lives? One bad decis
ion can lead to a lifetime of pain and grief that wasn't in the plan. Oh well, I hope I can get that blood spatter out with a combination of SHOUT and a VERY long soak in Borax Bleach. But if it resists treatment, the hiding can go on for a very long time. After all, I have 250 ties.




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