This week when I shifted from winter to summer clothes, I gave thanks that last year’s clothes still fit. Covid 19 has severely restricted our shopping. Replacement, even as stores begin to open up, will be difficult, and not just because of social distancing. With distribution difficulties, stock in our stores is limited. Many of us now have financial limitations as well.
In the Bible, St. Paul compares a faithful life to the clothes we wear. He says, “Wear love. It’s your basic all-purpose garment. Never be without it.” (Colossians 3:14) This morning, I’m taking Paul’s thought one step further. Let love of God, others and yourself be your undergarment, your underwear, the foundation of all you think, do and believe.
Years ago women wore girdles as foundational undergarments. Girdles were designed to squeeze together “excess flesh.” They restricted breathing and movement just a “little”. Women were told this restriction was worth it, because they would appear slimmer, more compact, more “acceptable.”
When love is your foundational undergarment, instead of restriction, you experience freedom, freedom to accept others. The restrictions of prejudice and bigotry disappear. Judgment of others is left with God. Anger, resentment and shame are no longer necessary.
Yes, there is a cost to love. Sometimes love requires standing up for our beliefs. Sometimes, love requires risking the security of being in control. Sometimes, love requires our lives.
Yet, the freedom we receive when love is our foundation brings us peace, harmony, and eternal life. This summer I recommend trying on love. You’ll find that it fits perfectly all year long.