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."