catapult magazine

catapult magazine

Vol 12, Num 2 :: 2013.01.18 — 2013.01.31


Open hands, with mittens

“I love those boots.  Where did you get them?”

I look down and remember the lilies of the field.  I’m in this situation often.

“My mother gave them to me.  I’m not sure where she got them.”

The shirts and pants folded and waiting in my drawers are mainly gifts and finds.  Some are hand-me-downs from friends far more fashionable than myself.  Some are t-shirts that made me smile and sweaters friends gave to me when they moved to Texas. 

Clothes show up. 

I’m not a shopper, but I do enjoy figuring out what to wear with what.  Friends tell me that I have a great sense of style — but that’s not exactly right. 

Jesus asks us not to worry about our bodies and what we will wear.  He promises to clothe us.  I have found this to be true.  However I can’t say which garment is headed my way.

I have a friend who worked with a designer in New York.  She was purging her closet and I ended up owning a hand-stitched skirt that cost hundreds of dollars.  I have an aunt in the Upper Peninsula of Michigan who lost weight and gave me three pairs of Levi’s in the exact same color and style.  The color was stonewashed.  The style was mom jeans.

I wore the skirt on the beach and I wore the jeans to help paint a friend’s new house. 

Could it be that the clothes we wear are yet another way we attempt to be God?

The events of my life are out of my hands; the people who live around the corner can do what they like.  My control over this wild world is limited to myself.  The relationships and moments that come my way are mine only when I keep an outstretched hand and take what’s given.  If I shop until I find exactly how I want to be represented, could it be I miss out on how God himself would like to clothe me?

I take out dark blue jeans I found at a second hand store and pull on this thin, lovely top with branches that stretch across, a cast-off from my fashion plate friend.  My socks are thick and warm and from the neighbor across the street who was getting rid of a bag of them.  I zip up these grey boots that were a Christmas present from my father three years ago and pull on mittens my talented friend knit just for me.  My hat is one my dad bought for my mom twenty years ago when they were into cross-country skiing.  And the coat that I get so many compliments on, my mother bought for five dollars at the end of last season.  She’d bought two because they were so marked down and it was hanging in her closet next to the other one.

“Do you want this?” she asked one day when the kids and I were visiting.

I opened my hands.

“Yes.  Yes, I do.”

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