When I was a kid I loved to dress up (and I don’t mean wearing a dress, but more on that later…) and I think that all kids do. There is something fun about putting on a costume or clothes and pretending you are someone else. Whether it be Superman, Batman, Iron Man, Captain Marvel, a cowboy, policeman, fireman, etc. There is something that transforms you when you don those clothes.
It was probably that stage of life that gave me a love for the theater. All my siblings were in drama in church programs and high school. I loved all the aspects of drama and theater. I still love going to see shows on the stage. It is fun putting on the stage makeup and clothes and becoming a character.
When I was a junior in high school I decided that I would dress up as an old woman for Halloween and go to school dressed that way. I had a rubber mask that had a babushka attached to it. I found an old woman’s dress, put on the knee high pantyhose and rolled them to just below my knees, found some old woman high heels that fit my size 12 feet, and even had an old woman’s purse. I made sure I got to school a little early so I could walk around for a while before class started. I didn’t want anyone to know who I was so I would walk slowly and with a hunch. I even talked like an old woman.
One time, as I rounded a corner I scared one of my classmates. Everyone was trying to figure out who I was. It was not until I sat in my normal seat in the first class that people figured out who I was. It was so much fun! It also explains why my principal said to me as I walked across the stage at graduation, “we are going to miss your acting up around here.”
Recently I was reading a passage in Colossians 3 and it reminds me of how when we would dress up it would transform us into new characters. Here is Colossians 3:12-14 in The Message translation.
“So, chosen by God for this new life of love, dress in the wardrobe God picked out for you: compassion, kindness, humility, quiet strength, discipline. Be even-tempered, content with second place, quick to forgive an offense. Forgive as quickly and completely as the Master forgave you. And regardless of what else you put on, wear love. It’s your basic, all-purpose garment. Never be without it.”Colossians 3:12-14
If you have made the decision to follow Jesus then you have a new life and God has a new wardrobe picked out for you. It is a much different life than the one you used to live and it is vastly different than the one that the world is asking us to wear. The difference between this and what we did as kids are that when we were kids we were wearing costumes and costumes are temporary masking of who we really are. Instead, this new wardrobe God gives you is one that is supposed to be permanent.
I am finding myself asking myself if I am wearing the wardrobe of compassion, kindness, humility, quiet strength, and discipline. And above anything else, I want to wear love. Andy Stanley, the pastor of North Point Church in Atlanta, has started asking a very simple question and it is one I am trying to ask myself as well.
What does love require of me?