Tuesday, January 8, 2013

Jesus in my Clothes Closet! - Praxis - Think like Jesus

At least once a day, I walk into the tiniest room in my house: my closet. I survey the lineup of shirts, pants, jackets, suits, shoes, and make a selection. My skills are limited - so I fret a bit: Do the colors work? Did I wear this yesterday? Whom will I run into today? What's the "image" I hope to project?

If I imagine Jesus stepping into that closet with me.... Wait: now I remember. Jesus said, When you pray, go into your closet, shut the door, and pray to your Father who is in secret; and your Father will reward you (Matthew 6:6). Wow. Every time I step into the closet, I have the rare guarantee that (1) I can do something right now that Jesus told me to do, and (2) I can get a reward. I want to think more about that - but I also plan to do it every time.

Maybe the very act of dressing can be a prayer. Paul must have thought about this when he wrote, Put on compassion, kindness, lowliness, meekness and patience, forgiveness and love (Colossians 3:12), or Put on the armor of God... gird your loins with truth, put on the breastplate of righteousness, shod your feet with the gospel of peace, take the shield of faith (Ephesians 6).

In the earliest centuries of our faith, converts symbolically took off their old dirty work clothes and were wrapped in a new, white robe. Can I make my daily ritual of buttoning my shirt, buckling my belt, pulling up my socks and tying my shoes, and slipping on a jacket into a prayer, a vesting of my self as a person planning to serve God when I'm out there in these clothes?

What else? Whom am I dressing for? and why? Am I dressed in a way that might pose a spiritual problem for somebody else? Why do I own so many shirts? or shoes? Can't I donate some of this?

After this brief encounter with Jesus, we can happily "come out of the closet."

1 comment:

  1. Except for the surprisingly homoerotic last line I understand what you are saying in this post: we should pray in all things. But I can't help but wonder if Paul (or Jesus for that matter) wondered what to wear before walking into the desert to fast, or before putting his life in danger by preaching the gospel in an unforgiving land. I find it hard to imagine Jesus living in a large house, in a safe area, and praying while he casually dresses for another easy day at the office. Not that praying before your day is bad but I think there is more you can do with what is in your closet than pray while you put on hundreds of dollars worth of clothes. Such as, sell all you have and give to the poor. Give your coat to someone who needs it, or at least recognize when you post to a public blog that people read what you say and think Jesus would be happy about such a selfish act as praying in order to get a reward.