RELIGION: Espirit fasheen! | | – Montrose Daily Press


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The title translates to ‘Spiritual fashion,’ or at least I think it does! I have to give credit for this topic and much of what I’ll use in this column to a dear friend, Jan Russo.

She gave a talk on this topic at a Christian Experience weekend a few years ago and I’ve never forgotten it. It truly speaks to who we are and more importantly to who we want to become.

In my first article on “Who am I,” I mentioned the importance people place on image: image in dress, in company signage, in politics. What image do we present to the world?

Well, let’s imagine we are getting dressed for the day.

Undergarments can conceal lots—thank goodness! At my age they need to cover lots!

But do our undergarments conceal anger?

Ancient Sanskrit tradition taught the seat of anger is in the liver. My liver might be a little warped from hepatitis in medical school. What’s in my heart?

Is there forgiveness, for both others and for me? It is much easier for me to forgive others than to forgive myself. Regardless of the pattern on my undies, does the inside I’m covering up match the outside I’m showing off? Am I real? Am I authentic?

Now, we’ll put on our outer clothes. How important are appearances? Do I fret over how I look? Those who know me would say “no.” Do I judge others by how they look?

That person in worn, stained clothing may have nothing else. I need to remember that. During COVID, the best dressed folks were in scrubs and no make up to protect the scarce PPE.

Did that change who we are? Fortunately not.

I don’t think so. Think of Christ, roaming in a simple tunic and sandals, bathing when He could, with no toothbrush or shaving kit. That simple appearance gives me the vision of God the Son, a simple carpenter who changed the world!

Putting on shoes, I wonder how I will walk through the day. Will I stop to admire creation or lend a helping hand? Can I walk a mile in someone’s shoes before I judge them? Can I keep myself grounded in God’s Word during both success and failure?

The hat to cover the head in days gone by was a sign of humility. It indicated God was always above them. Oh! Is that a strand of pride sticking out? I better tuck it in. I cannot take credit for anything. It’s all because of Him. My head is a repository of ideas, intentions and memories.

I pray for the healing of some of those memories.

A pocketbook, backpack or briefcase can be so full of “stuff” that we’ve been packing around. What is this? Eau de Woe? Smells terrible!

A box of shame? Toss it! A pack of guilt sticks? They taste nasty! A roll of regrets? Wait! There’s a piece of paper. It is a receipt. It says: “Paid in full.” It is signed: Love, Jesus Christ.

Wow! Ephesians 2:4-5 says “But because of His great love for us, God who is rich in mercy, made us alive with Christ even when we were dead in our transgressions—it is by grace you have been saved.”

Many folks can’t go anywhere without their glasses. I sure can’t. I need to be reminded to take the plank out of my eye before helping with a splinter in someone else’s. Maybe a spiritual eye wash will help me see the face of Jesus in all I meet.

Before heading out the door, I put on my coat. I’m covered in Christ and bundled in His love, His mercy, His word, and His plan for us. “So whether you eat or drink or whatever you do, do it all for the glory of God” ( 1Corinthians 10: 31). Amen!

Mary Vader is number 7 of 11 children raised on a Gunnison ranch. She is a pediatrician, a hospital chaplain and an active member of Saint Mary Parish. She is part of a surgical team that has done medical missions all over the world for 26 years.

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