Christmas Shopping for My Wife
I gave up trying to buy my wife clothing for Christmas a long time ago.
Early in our marriage, I really tried, but I never seemed to get it right. Something that looked spectacular in the women’s department Burdines or Mass Bros (I’m dating myself there!) would be the wrong size when she opened it on Christmas morning. I never understood what colors were best for her; it had something to do with the seasons, but I could never remember which one.
I also learned that good clothing is expensive. I didn’t watch for sales the way she does and would end up spending more than I needed to spend on something she didn’t need at all.
On Christmas morning, she would do her best to let me know she appreciated the attempt, but the look on her face immediately let me know she was making sure it could be exchanged the week after Christmas. As our daughters grew up, she suggested that I take them shopping with me. It didn’t help. I can still hear one of them saying, “What makes you think that Mom would really wear that?”
This year we’re giving each other a rebuilt dock and a couple reupholstered chairs!
Would You Really Wear That?
Better to give a book! This year my daughters will receive Lauren Winner’s intriguing book,“Wearing God: Clothing, Laughter, Fire, and Other Overlooked Ways of Meeting God”. She makes the rich metaphors of scripture come alive in fresh and imaginative ways, one of which is the biblical metaphor of clothing.
Her book was in my mind when daily readings in “The Upper Room Disciplines” led me to Colossians 3:12-14.
As God’s chosen ones, holy and beloved, clothe yourselves with compassion, kindness, humility, meekness, and patience. Bear with one another and, if anyone has a complaint against another, forgive each other; just as the Lord has forgiven you, so you also must forgive. Above all, clothe yourselves with love, which binds everything together in perfect harmony.
But here’s the question: Is there a market for that style of clothing this year? Given the ugly, mean-spirited, vulgar, racist, and fear-mongering rhetoric of the Trump candidacy that is polluting our politics and dominating the news cycle, we could easily read Colossians and ask, “Does anyone really want to wear that?”
Or turn the image around the other direction. I can imagine that when some well-dressed angels with designer wings in Heaven heard that the Son of God was going down to put on flesh and become one of us, they must have asked, “Do you really want to wear that?” (Read Philippians 2:1-8).
It reminded me of the lyrics of a song in Helen Kromer’s musical review, “For Heaven’s Sake.”
I’m nothing, I’m nobody, no one,
But Someone made something of me;
He put on my flesh
And He walked in my bones
And He saw all the grief that I see.
He knew what I know of tormentors,
This haunting and howling within;
The blood that can spill
And the bone that can break
And the flesh with the nail driven in.
He hung on the cross as a creature;
Wearing my sin-spattered clothes;
And the pride in my flesh
Died with Him when He died
And my raiment was new when he rose.
This clothing I wear with a difference—
It’s flesh that the King entered in!
He put there His love
And His almighty law
And it never can be what it’s been.
I’m nothing, I’m nobody, no one,
I’m something in Christ whose in me;
And I’ll put on His flesh
And I’ll walk in His bones
And a part of His body I’ll be!
So, what will you be wearing this Christmas?