Exe Valley Mission Community


Nothing to Wear - Gazette Aug 2019

It’s a dilemma. It’s a regular dilemma. In fact, it’s an almost daily dilemma, and it takes far, far too much time, effort and thought. It’s worse in the summer! And I blame my mother for it! And the dilemma is…. What shall I wear today? It’s the-getting-out-of-bed-dilemma, and trying-to-remember-what’s-in-my-diary-dilemma, and choosing-to-wear-the-right-things-dilemma, which won’t involve multiple-changes-of-clothes-dilemma, added to which, and to make matters worse, I-may-have-to-wear-my dog-collar-dilemma!

I’m sorry if this all seems rather shallow, and unworthy of comment, Christian or otherwise. But you see, I don’t want to look out of place. I want to blend in and wear the right things. Sometimes it seems that the dress code is more like a secret code, and you have to be ‘in the know’ to find out what to wear. I don’t exactly know what ‘smart-casual’ means and I never know how to respond to, ‘Just come as you are!’ (Apart from, ‘Really?’)

I have been scarred by certain wardrobe malfunctions of my teenage past. The lilac suede hotpants with matching shoes, in which I thought I looked rather wonderful, until I saw my reflection from behind. The trendy batik maxi dress that was so pretty to look at, but left my skin a murky shade of khaki, that took weeks to scrub off. The Afghan coat that left a lingering smell of dead goat everywhere I went. And the time, when my parents and I were invited to a Dickensian Evening, in central London, and my mother insisted that my father and I to go as characters from, ‘A Tale of Two Cities’. My Dad was dressed as Sidney Carton, which wasn’t too bad. But I (O, the shame of it all) went dressed as Madame Defarge, complete with red cap, blackened front teeth and knitting! Everyone else, including my mother, was looking gorgeous and sophisticated in Victorian style evening wear.

No wonder I have a problem with what to wear every morning.

And of course, what we wear is important because it says something about us and reflects who we are. Interestingly the Bible has something to say about it too. It says that God is interested in what we wear. It says that God has a dress code. And his dress code is not a secret code. It’s a dress code for us all. The Bible says, ‘You are always and dearly loved by God! So, clothe yourself with virtues of God…compassion, kindness, humility, gentleness and patience.’ (Colossians 3: 12-13)

I must remember that before I start rifling through the wardrobe.

Rev’d Stephanie Gordon-Jeffs
Rector Exe Valley Mission Community

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