yes, but what does she look like?
Nearly four years ago I (re)dedicated my life to Christ.
This renewal came at a time when my life (as I was directing it) was not turning out so hot and I knew I needed to do something different. Little did I know that God had been pursuing me.
This change brought lots of questions to mind concerning how I lived my life before versus how it would be lived now. There were the obvious changes of digging into the Bible and of forming an active relationship with my local church through service, fellowship and discipleship. For me, these changes were easy - I loved getting to know everything there was to know about God, Jesus and the Bible. He is all consuming that way...
The area in question that was not as clear to me was what I should look like. More specifically, how should I dress myself?
I know this sounds silly and trivial, but this had me stumped for a little while. Here I was, a new Christian and at the time, I was working full-time as an interior designer. The designer part of me loved creating an outfit - the composing of specific colors with textures, straight structured lines with free-flowing silhouettes. For me, this was another form of artful expression. But I wondered, was this now considered "silly"? Was I to completely abandon my carefully curated wardrobe and trade it in for sackcloth and sandals? I was stumped.
For whatever reason, I had it set in my warped mind that any woman who was serious about following and loving Jesus did not put much time and effort into her appearance. That this woman did not care about color, texture or style - she wanted the plain, brown dress, thank you very much. I thought any effort put into your appearance was time and effort taken away from serving and loving as Christ loved.
I found that I was asking myself the same question over and over. "Yes, but what does she look like, this woman who loves Jesus?"
I believe sincerity is in the heart of every Christian when they make the decision to follow Jesus that they call everything about their lives into question. I believe it is the desire to honor Him that drives our early questions of "is this okay?" I sought council from the Bible (as a new believer, you sometimes want scripture obviously specific to what you are going through - but I was not going to find scripture that referenced last years jeans). I posed my question to women who were more mature in their faith and I talked about it with my small group. I did get good, sound and biblical answers - but somehow the question still lingered in my mind..."yes, but what does she look like, this woman who loves Jesus?"
Time lead me to the conclusion that I was not thinking of Him in the right way. There were much bigger fish to "catch". Jesus had been pursuing me for a while before I surrendered. And he was not pursuing me to tell me that my shoes did not match my purse. He was pursuing me because he loved me and wanted a relationship with me. He could care less about what I looked like. He could care less about what prints I chose to pair with what solids. He did not care that my nails were red, yellow or blue. He loved me no matter what I wore or what I looked like.
What He cared about was me loving Him above all else, and me loving my neighbor (Mark 12:30-31). He cared about me serving others (1 Peter 4:10). He cared how I cared for the lost and broken...
The more I dug into His Word, the more obsolete my question became. The urge to get it answered was replaced with true fellowship, love in action and service.
Do not get me wrong - I still enjoy the thrill of shopping and composing outfits, but this is not an idol in my life. I do not want any of this more than I want Him. Period.
So this woman who loves Jesus looks like me. She looks like the amazing women I serve with. She looks like the woman you know in your church or grocery store or library. She could rock hot pink stilettos, or she could in fact, wear a plain brown dress.
Her outward appearance is the temporary covering she wears here on earth, temporarily.