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It feels like just yesterday, when our daughters, aged 7 and 5, were dressed in mommy and daddy’s clothes.  The oldest in daddy’s suit, tie and hat with a painted mustache and beard.  The youngest in one of my dresses, long beads, high heels and lipstick.  They were playing Pastor and wife.  The oldest was repeating over and over again, “In the beginning God created the heavens and the earth….”

The remembrance still warms my heart. I remember being so surprised as they acted out their love and adoration, wanting to look like and be like mommy and daddy.  Wearing  too big of clothing that literally drooped and draped off of them, hiding their little hands.

Today, almost 20 years later, as our world seems to be spinning out of control with COVID, violence, disrespect for one another and so many disheartening things, I run to the Word of God for help, direction and comfort.

And I’m challenged to go into the closet of my Father and clothe myself with His compassion, kindness, humility, gentleness and patience.  It forces me to look at my choice of dress.  Especially when I see how I’m“clothed” as I react to words, actions and attitudes that are not like mine.  Even if it’s not outward but just in my heart.

My heart is so discouraged that I find myself asking Him to put my arm into His sleeve of compassion.  Like a toddler, I just don’t know how or at times want to!  And Lord, I need your help to button my sweater of kindness and humility. I can’t seem to do it myself.  Will you teach me how?  Please, just like a toddler, teach me how to button my buttons.  As if it were the very first time, or the second or third or tenth.  And may I learn how to walk in your shoes of gentleness and patience, even though they’re too big and it feels awkward and clumsy to walk among others.  Perhaps one day I will grow into them.   Perhaps one day I will be more independent in clothing myself properly.

And with your help, your grace, may I wrap myself in your strong yet soft, warm scarf of bearing with others and forgive whatever grievances that I have in my heart.

Grievance: a real or imagined wrong or protest, especially unfair treatment.

Father, I choose to go into your closet, but as a toddler I need your help to dress myself.  Because I want to look and be just like you.

May I go into your closet, and may I be determined to put on love in the middle of such turbulence and turmoil, whether the turmoil is in my marriage, my family, my church, my neighborhood or my country.  Please turn your steps toward me, follow me into your closet and help me deal with my heart.   Because, I not only want to learn to clothe myself with your clothing, but I want to truly have your heart: a heart of forgiveness and of love.

I want to be like you when I grow up.  But for now, please help me put my arms in the sleeves and help me button my buttons.  Hold my hand as I walk in your shoes.  And make my heart like yours.

“Therefore, as God’s chosen people, holy and dearly loved, clothe yourselves with compassion, kindness, humility, gentleness and patience.  Bear with each other and forgive one another if any of you has a grievance against someone.  Forgive as the Lord forgave you.  And over all these virtues put on love, which binds them all together in perfect unity.” Colossians 3:12-14

Trusting Him in the process,

Lynn Jackson

Thrive Leadership Foundation