As the rain and the snow come down from heaven, and do not return to it without watering the earth and making it bud and flourish, so that it yields seed for the sower and bread for the eater, so is my word that goes out from my mouth: It will not return to me empty, but will accomplish what I desire and achieve the purpose for which I sent it. -- Isaiah 55:10-11

Tuesday, September 8, 2009

Clothed in Christ

Her swimsuit lacked something to be desired, like...FABRIC!

Understand, I'm not against skimpy clothing. Women--and men--can wear as little as they want in their own backyards or in the bedrooms with their spouse, but at public pools, where young men's eyes and husband's interest are easily caught and kept, such attire--or lack thereof--no. Simply no.

Of course, if she knew Jesus, she know better. Obviously that woman needed prayer, so I prayed for her. "Lord, help her to see that she does not need to show off her body like that, that she is more valuable than that."

Then I scooched down on my recliner with my book and tried not to think about Miss Pagan Skimpy Dresser anymore. And, I did pretty well. I only shot a few disapproving looks her way, and my eyes didn't even pop out of my head when she took her lack-of-a-swimming suit up on the diving board and did a flip. Thankfully, all those strings stayed tied and came out of the pool with her.

When my children and I gathered to enjoy a snack and drink, on que Miss Pagan Skimpy Dresser walked right by...and sat right next to me! I averted my eyes and tried to ignore her. My daughter, who is so modest that she wears swim shorts and a tank top over her swimsuit, not one to stay silent.

"Ma'am?" My 12-year old's voice came clear and direct.

I prayed again, silently. "Oh please don't do anything or say anything to embarrass me. Please don't say any thing about her swimsuit."

The lady turned around and looked at Anna.

"Ma'am, can I ask you a question?"

Miss Skimpy smiled and said yes.

"Do you know Jesus as your Lord and Savior?" The question Anna asked everyone.

The woman's eyes lit up. Even in August heat in Texas, it was obvious. Her eyes lit up, and she beamed when she said, "Yes, I do. He saved me from my sins."

My daughter smiled, "I'm so glad to hear that."

"You know Jesus, too?"

"Yes, I do, and I'm glad to know you do as well."

The new-found sisters smiled at each other momentarily and went back to what they were doing. Both of them smiling a bit bigger.

I listened to the conversation and had a conversation of my own. "Lord, if she is saved, why does she dress like that? It is not becoming a woman of God to dress like...that."

A clear Voice answered, "You don't know her heart. You don't know who she is when she isn't here."

No, I don't know her heart, but I saw a glimpse. I saw eyes that lit up when she talked about her Lord and Savior. I heard a clear voice boldly proclaim that He saved her from her sins. I watched a daughter give glory to her Father. And, no, I don't know who she is when she isn't here. I don't know if she takes food to a hungry family or visits the elderly. I don't know if she works with young people who know Jesus because they know her.

All I saw was a swimming suit.

I looked at my daughter, who once again gave me a clear view of Jesus. Where I saw a skimpy swimsuit, she saw a soul. Where I saw someone to avoid, she saw someone to approach.

Then, I looked at me. Dressed in rags of self-righteous judgment. Filthy. My heart laid before me, and it didn't take a Bible scholar to figure out which of the three of us was disgusting to God.

The simple fact is the Lord will take a woman in a skimpy swimsuit with a good heart that loves Him over a modestly dressed, self-righteous, judge any time. His conern is not the size of the cloth on the body but rather that the heart be clothed in Christ.

And it was clear which one of us needed to change the way we dressed.

Copyright Jerri Phillips 2009

1 comment:

Debra said...

Ouch! That was good ... man (or this woman) looks on the outside, but God looks at the heart! Thanks for sharing. Love you!