Dressing in and out.

It’s prom season everywhere.   At the Holguin house, we just passed through the sweet season of the hundred-fold decisions about length and color, style and shoes, handbags and jewelry.  Working with high school students as a profession has offered little reprieve. My juniors and seniors are rapt in continuous side conversations about prom attire:  where did you buy your dress? What heels are you wearing? What kind of tux did you rent?

Behind the plotting and planning lies a simple truth: clothes speak.  

Without uttering a word, what we wear makes a statement.  They may announce our professions, reveal our ambitions, or communicate our emotions.  We may don clothing as an armor, signaling a desire to distance or defend. We may dress to allure, inviting others to notice and connect.  We may attire to evade our struggles, express our joys, or engage in conversation.

But does something as pedestrian as clothing matter to God?  Absolutely.

It’s just that His vantage point is wildly different from our own. God reminded the prophet Samuel of His perfect optics, “The LORD does not look at the things people look at.  People look at the outward appearance, but the LORD looks at the heart” (I Samuel 16:7).  God designs from the inside out.

Better still, our Father does not just cast His caring eye on the state of our hearts, He tenderly and graciously arrays His beloved children in stunning garments. He is a sartorial genius.  

The scriptures speak to the measures of His gracious designs:

Strength and dignity are her clothing, And she smiles at the future.” (Proverbs 31:25)
“You have...clothed me with joy” (Psalm 30:11)
“He has clothed me in garments of salvation” (Isaiah 61:10)
“He has wrapped me with a robe of righteousness” (Isaiah 61:10)
“You have girded me with strength for battle” (Psalm 18:39)

Imagine wearing God’s custom designed strength, joy, and righteousness.  Beautiful reality, isn’t it?

Paul’s  letter to the Colossians reminds us how the saints are most truly attired:

“As God’s chosen ones, holy and beloved, clothe yourselves with compassion, kindness, humility, meekness, and patience. Bear with one another and, if anyone has a complaint against another, forgive each other; just as the Lord has forgiven you, so you also must forgive. Above all, clothe yourselves with love, which binds everything together in perfect harmony.”

When we are dressed by God from the inside out, we will always be in style.  

Any time. Any size. Any place.