Okay, this wardrobe thing is still walking around in my brain. I'm shopping this week for clothes for my CPE position, so it is near the surface.
A few months ago, someone from our church told my husband she had a hard time picturing us together (we've been married 25 years) because he seems so laid back, and I seem so prim and proper. His response was, "Then you don't really know Rookie." She had only seen me at church on Sunday morning in my staff position wearing my Sunday morning professional gear (usually pants/skirt suit). She had never heard my dry and often irreverent humor.
I wonder, would she feel comfortable coming to me for pastoral counseling or care? Would she be put off by the professional image I try so hard to project on Sunday morning, especially when I'm involved in worship leadership?
My sister, whose house is rarely straight, but whose relationship with her kids is awesome once told me, "A house that looks too perfectly clean and straight may not be the best hospitality. It may make visitors feel uncomfortable and afraid to move. They may feel you will judge them about the condition of their own home. It is important to let others see you are human."
I know there is a very fine line between appearance that inspires confidence and one that is off-putting. I also know that one's image comes from more than clothes or hairdo. It comes from behavior. Could I have been more friendly to the woman who saw me as too prim and proper? Could I have asked real questions about her kids, her life rather than a friendly, "Good morning, how are you today?" My husband had this conversation because he stopped to visit with her. He didn't worry about whether he got to Sunday School on time or at all. He just stopped and paid attention.
More points to ponder. More questions than answers. Learning, learning, learning.
God of Love,
Lead me. Teach me. Show me.