January 10. I didn’t intend to go through my closet today. But as I stood there this morning and chose my clothes for the day, I spotted a couple articles I’d already been thinking should go. Once I started, I couldn’t stop until I had sorted through everything on the racks.
My closet was already leaner than most women I know. If the average American woman owns nineteen pairs of shoes, I must be an alien. I am certainly not a man or a cat or a superhero. So I guess that leaves alien as the most likely option.
Since I own relatively few clothes, compared to other women within our income level, I was surprised at just how many clothes I ripped off the hangars. And that I had three pairs of shoes I hardly ever wear. A majority of these clothes are leftovers from my office-work days and my pre-motherhood life. They are no longer needed or practical for me.
But here’s the thing. God doesn’t care what my closet looks like compared to anyone else, except for maybe a woman who needs clothing. When John the Baptist preached to the crowds, he exhorted them to produce fruit in keeping with repentance. Some people in the crowd asked him what they should do. He answered, “If you have two shirts/tunics/coats, share with the man who has none. If you have plenty of food, share with the hungry” (Luke 3).
This passage came to my attention several times while I was pondering this spiritual growth project. I knew I’d have to share some clothes, and I knew specifically I’d have to share my coat.
My mom bought me a dressy wool coat probably ten years ago. It was the only winter coat I owned all those years until this past summer, when I bought a casual coat on clearance. It was a steal, and it was exactly what I had been needing for hiking, working, and playing outside.
The wool coat has seen me through a lot of changes. Loss of friendships and starts of friendships. Pregnancy. Moves. I wore it to my college graduation, which took place in December. I wore it on my first date with my husband. Very soon after my mom bought it, I wore this coat on a date with my dad.
As I think about all these memories, some bitter and some sweet, tears spring to my eyes. I feel slightly ridiculous. I am not usually sentimental about things. If they are useful, I use them. If they are not useful to me, they are better off in another home. So I can’t believe I am about to cry over a coat.
The memories are mine to keep. But the coat is not. Someone else can now use it better than I can.
For Your glory, God, and for the love of You. This coat is Yours, and I know You can use it to bless its next owner, beyond what I can even imagine. Because that’s what You do—You do far greater things than we can think or imagine. Let it be so with this coat.