The Shirt


It was one of my favourite shirts.  The one I fought myself to keep instead of giving it to the lady that wonders the streets.

Every now and then I see her walking around town, dirty, with bags in her hands and a doll clutched under her arm.  I have seen her sleeping on the side of a back road, and not too long ago I found her digging through my garbage can.

Her clothes are usually filthy, and her outfits a modge podge of what she must find thrown out or what others may have given her.  These past couple days she has been wearing jeans, an open jacket, a prom dress hanging half off, and nothing else underneath.  When I saw her as I was driving by, the sight of her walking along the road with her breasts exposed, made my heart sink a little.

What has a person like that gone through?  What has been done against her, that she no longer feels shame from being so exposed?

When I came across her that  morning, digging through my garbage, I remembered the shirt in my purse.   I had it in there from  a trip a few weeks before.  I don’t normally carry extra shirts with me but we had gone on a day trip to the city and I stuffed one in my purse in case one of the kids spilled something on me or, lets be honest, more likely in case I spilled on myself,  ha ha.  I wanted a back up.  It was one of my favourite shirts, actually.

I knew instantly that I should give it to her, but I am not going to lie, I hesitated.  It wasn’t that the shirt was worth a lot, not to any one else anyways.  I just really liked it.  I also knew there was a good chance that she would never even wear the shirt, but neither of those thoughts are the point.  I actually considered running inside my house to get another less loved shirt.  Bottom line  I wanted to do something  nice without is costing me any discomfort.  I was being selfish and materialistic.  Nothing to be proud of.

This lady deserved to be treated with love and compassion.  She was 100% worth  receiving a favourite shirt.  I only share this to say that the one changed in the shirt exchange was me.  For all I know, she walked down the road and tossed it aside, and thats ok.  I’m not going to let my love for stuff hold me back from giving compassion with out expectations and strings attached.  The struggle is real though, isn’t it?

Who said loving Jesus and loving people was easy, convenient or comfortable?  It’s not and it shouldn’t be.  If you live your life in a tidy, easy Christian comfortable bubble it may be time to dig deep into God’s word and be willing to live the life He has called all of us to live….

And so, dear brothers and sisters,[a] I plead with you to give your bodies to God because of all he has done for you. Let them be a living and holy sacrifice—the kind he will find acceptable. This is truly the way to worship him.[b] Don’t copy the behavior and customs of this world, but let God transform you into a new person by changing the way you think. Then you will learn to know God’s will for you, which is good and pleasing and perfect.

Because of the privilege and authority[c] God has given me, I give each of you this warning: Don’t think you are better than you really are. Be honest in your evaluation of yourselves, measuring yourselves by the faith God has given us.[d]  

Romans 12:1-3 NLT

Maybe you have your own “favourite” (stuff, attitudes, comforts, etc)  you need to be willing to give away?  I’m still working on my own, it’s not really a one time thing.  The shirt was just the beginning.


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