|Thanks to www.gospelconnoisseur.com for picture|
Maybe it was part of a bet, but your skin tight butt grazing strappy Lady Gaga dress might not be the best choice for church. Even if it is a casual flip flops and jeans kind of church. I am not a Baptist. In my twenties I did wear tight and short dresses to go clubbing. I have not always been a Christian, and when I wasn't one I REALLY WASN'T ONE. I feel that I am a pretty liberal Christian, unsure about some details, loving and inspired by Jesus, but not always his people. So as a woman who abhors judgmental folks, imagine how I feel when flames of judgement erupt in my brain, usually in viciously catty language like:
"How could you wear THAT to church, you Hoochie?!?! Do you have a mother and did she not see you heading out to church this morning? I know you are a teenager, so someone had to drive you here and you aren't carrying (or wearing) a trench coat!"
I wish this wasn't my response, Dear Lovely Young Girl, but it was. I thought about you all through the service. You might have noticed me as you were walking out after the first service; I was the mother holding my two young girls who stopped and actually rudely stared at you walking with your two girlfriends. I noticed their high heels and short tight skirts and then your tight short tan skirt with black straps all up and down the back. It looked a lot like Lady Gaga's strappy number in back from the waist up. You are beautiful, you have a fabulous figure, but unless you wore that dress to church on a bet, I wonder about your life. This makes me wonder about my life, too.
I want desperately for my daughters to know how beautiful they are inside and out. I want them to enjoy their sexuality without seeking valdiation through it like I did. It is a much more powerful feeling to be desired for all of you, mind body and spirit than just for your body for awhile. After becoming a Christian in my thirties and choosing abstinence, I realized a man wanting to sleep with me wasn't flattering. Of course they wanted to sleep with me, I was darling! But a man who would wait to sleep with me...who would put off his desires, respect me deeply and wait, in our case till marriage...THAT was flattering. I also really learned about his personality, how he treated people and what he had to offer me when it wasn't clouded by sex.
As I struggled with my judgmental attitude, I wondered, maybe your mother just died and your father didn't know what to say when you got ready to leave for church. Maybe you were forced to go to church, so you forced them to endure your outfit choice. Maybe you went with friends and you are trying so hard to prove how grown up and cool you are and they did not know any better either.
I know it is better for everyone to be in a church where they can find love and acceptance. No matter how they are dressed. It is better for you, Lovely Young Girl, to be in church especially if you are dressed like you are for sale. Because you were bought for a price already and you should know how valuable you are. You should be embraced and encouraged instead of stared at. I hope there are better folks than me around you to love you and encourage you. I am sorry I stared and thought horrible things. Maybe next week we will see each other again and I will smile at you. I hope so. But I will try not to look at what you are barely wearing.
Friends, how can I change my judgmental heart? I swear too much, I loosely attend church, I have faltering beliefs....who am I? NOBODY. Have you dealt with this sort of issue and do you have stories or ideas to share?