Thick Layers

You can’t wonder why love’s wearing thin when you’re wearing a thick layer of self.- a holy experience

There are few articles of clothing I have dearly loved in my life. I guess there’s my favorite jeans that I finally retired to the goodwill bag (2 years too late, I’m afraid.) Then there’s the softest, most cuddly shirt on earth (a giant hammy down Cubs t-shirt from 1980-something), and finally the silky purple basketball warm-up my auntie gave me (and I recently returned so she could give it to her daughter).

So although Cubs is still with me, most of my favies have left me to my stiff and starchy wardrobe. Boo.

And then! Present from Jesus! I discovered the softest, gigantuan, most enveloping coat of all time!!!

It’s my brothers old Air Force-issued parka and it lives in my parents closet. How did I discover this little gem, you ask? Well,… my coat smelled like a Catholic fish-fry (literally) and I desperately needed to air out, so I went a-digging. Alas! Behold! The glory of swimming in puff and silk. Parka-coat, I love you.

In this coat, I am  impenetrable. Truly. Try to touch me (I won’t feel it), grab me (fist full of coaty), or even see me (the hood kind of eats up my entire face), and no cigar!! I am elusive. I am sheltered. I am confident I could do very bad things and get away with it.

Soooooo. Thick layers. Yep, good stuff. Except. When it’s thick layers of self. YUCK. (I’m picturing my skin just layering and layering until my whole body looks like one giant, calloused, big toe. Ewww.  I do it though. Put my self on. I hide. I protect. I introspect-to-death. I think “ME ME ME ME ME. you. MEEEEEE!” And feel good about the little “you” I threw in there.

Let’s be real. Selfish people sicken us. But we are never the selfish ones. “Gahh, not me! I tithe. I bake things for people. I sometimes share my favorite bag of all-natural wheat crackers. Sometimes.” The truth is it’s freaking natural for us to think about ourselves, because we think within our own minds. It’s downright unnatural to think of others first, to be self-sacrificing. Pooh. Sometimes I just want to quit this Jesus thing because nothing is easy.

But I’m glad we have a pretty rad and divine Helper. Okay, Holy Spirit, I need your help. So thanks for this verse and the reminder that you love in a self-less, vulnerable way. We can too.

“[Wake Up from Your Sleep]Watch what God does, and then you do it, like children who learn proper behavior from their parents. Mostly what God does is love you. Keep company with him and learn a life of love. Observe how Christ loved us. His love was not cautious but extravagant. He didn’t love in order to get something from us but to give everything of himself to us. Love like that.” Ephesians 5:1 MSG