Raising the lid of the trunk that contains my sweaters, sweatshirts, and scarves, I first felt delight. Cold weather means layering colors and textures and more creativity with clothes.
Rummaging around, delight faded a little and I started thinking things like this: "I wore these last year, and some the three years before that. They still look new, but I am tired of them."
Tired of them? Why? And thus began a week of the question rattling around my brain until it settled into a deep introspection.
Why do I want new things? New things make me feel more confident, I suppose. Well, that's rather nauseating, when I admit it to myself. I look to mere fibers for proof that I am capable of living my life well... when my me-ness wasn't made by me and therefore I'm not even responsible for the entirety of my existence? Well, that just grosses me out.
Especially when I think of many people who are lucky to have two sets of clothes. I say I care about poverty, slave labor in the clothing industry, and living a sustainable and eco-friendly lifestyle. I do care about those things. Hugely. But I'm an artist. How things look is a big deal to me. So I justify having a whole trunk full of sweaters because I got them on sale or at thrift stores.
Please understand that I do believe that God wants us to enjoy life and His good gifts. Wearing pretty clothes reminds me that God created beauty and loves it even more than I do. But I know that I can use this truth as an excuse to indulge myself.
I feel God calling me to a beauty in dress that is content. Aware of need and injustice. And knows beyond cognition that He is the source of my identity and confidence.
So, for the next six months, I'm not going to buy any clothes. The adventure begins. Anyone want to join me?