It’s a good job I love you, xxxxxxx !
I wasn’t going to say anything – particularly because I know M would
wish she hadn’t said anything if she knew – but I am really rather hurt that
you don’t know me better than to think I wouldn’t take preaching seriously
enough to dress for the pulpit.
I know I don’t always dress up for church. That’s a different matter entirely.
After all, who are you dressing up for when you go to church? For God? Well,
I can worship God stark naked, and often do. I can worship God better when I
feel comfortable than when I feel that I’m putting on a show. I can worship
God far far better when, instead of getting irritable with the boys at
taking for ever in the bathroom when I want to be in there preening myself,
and instead of getting up at 5am I stay in bed until 6 before I get up and
get Dad up and sort the boys out and get ready for church, I simply get
dressed and come as I am. I can worship God better when I haven’t got all
overheated and crinkled and uncomfortable in the hot environment of the
swimming pool spectators’ gallery at the crack of dawn. When I do dress up
for church – which, incidentally, I really like doing – I’m basically
dressing for me, because it makes me feel good. As far as God’s concerned, I
think He’s just happy I’m there, just like He puts up with my out-of-tune
singing far better than the people in congregation might!
When it comes to preaching, it’s a different matter. There it’s a question
of dressing for an audience, in a way, just like when I go into the
classroom. Did you honestly think I don’t know that when you were discussing with
my friends whether you ought to check I’d thought to wear a suit or a dress?
As for my hair, well, God saw fit to give me the type of hair that refuses
to cooperate. I wash it daily and still it looks as though it hasn’t seen a
decent shampoo for weeks. I can sit for hours combing and styling it, and
still it looks as though I’ve just got out of bed. The hairdresser despairs
of it. A nice cut by a professional hairdresser helps for a few days. I
wonder if you noticed when I stopped having it cut on a regular six-weekly
basis? Might it have been around the time when I went part time and started
having to make choices about how I spend my £40? It seems rather
self-indulgent to spend the money on myself on a hairdo that lasts a matter
of days, when there are far more important demands on my money so I find
myself putting it off and putting it off until I can’t stand it any more.
Over the years my self esteem has taken quite a battering over my hair, and
it’s taken quite a while to get to the stage of convincing myself I don’t
care. (It’s a lie really – I do care. But what can I do? Apart from have it
all shaved off and buy a wig, of course).
God didn’t grant me the gift of being attractive, but He did give me enough
common sense to know when it’s important to make an effort. I’d have liked
to think you knew me well enough to know that.
I wasn’t going to send this to you – in fact I probably still won’t,
knowing me – but I thought it would be better to clear the air and tell you
I’m hurt, so it’s easier to forgive you! There you go, you’re forgiven
So there you are – you can be reassured that I’ll make sure I’ve ironed my
jeans with a crease down the front next Sunday!