Tuesday, February 14, 2012
COME AS YOU ARE?
So, have you ever been invited to a “come as you are” party? Do you even remember that they existed? I am not sure that any are ever held anymore. It seems like we pretty much “come as we are” everywhere we go these days. Back in the day, it was a treat to be other than “dressed up” when we went out. Even going to the movies, or school, or on a picnic we dressed “up” for the occasion.
I have very fond memories of walking around in San Francisco in “stacked heel” walking shoes and a dress or suit just because that is what everyone wore when they visited the city. I also remember that a “casual attire” party meant school clothes (boys in slacks and nice shirts, girls in dresses or skirt outfits.) “Dress up” meant at least a sport coat for the guys and special dresses for the girls, while “formal” was rare, but exciting for very special occasions. Even picnics often required dresses and slacks, depending on the occasion.
Today, of course, we pretty much “go as we are” everywhere we go. Even many theatre and classical concert events are filled with people who are wearing anything from jeans to tuxedos. Those in tuxes may wish the rest of us would get a brain and wear the right attire but that doesn’t seem to occur to the masses anymore. Las Vegas is an absolute wonderland of mixed dressing. Even there it is getting harder and harder to demand a certain type of “dressing up” in order to attend a function.
But back in the day, “dress up” was a given. And it was enjoyable. That is when “come as you are” became a fun kind of party to go to. The party hosts would call you out of the blue and say “come as you are” to our party at… And they meant it. What ever you were wearing when they called is what you were supposed to wear to the party. Did you ever go to one of those? If you did, did you wear what you were wearing when they called?
Most people cheated: I can’t wear THIS out to a party; it has paint all over it, or grease from the car, or mud from yard work. And, if it was a come right now party, there was always a stop to fix hair or change some part of the outfit to be more acceptable. There was something about going anywhere just as we were that was quite intimidating; it was like we didn’t want anyone to know that we ever got dirty or wore worn out clothes to work around the house. For sure a woman could not possibly show up in a dirty apron. That would have to be taken off. Suffice it to say, few people ever showed up exactly as they were when they were called.
But today, as I was driving home, a song was played that encouraged us to know that “we can come as we are.” Again, a difficult thing for many people to do. Thus we stop to put on make up (or wash our face,) have our hair cut and styled, buy some new clothes, maybe even have our teeth whitened before we even think about speaking with God, let alone coming into His presence. After all, we certainly wouldn’t want HIM to see our dirty, worn out clothes and scruffy shoes.
Thank God He loves us all scuffed up or spit polished. It doesn’t matter to Him what we look like, it only matters to Him who we are to Him. Yet, sometimes when we mess up all we can think about is how bad we must look in His eyes and we are embarrassed to even know that He is looking at us. It certainly doesn’t hurt to be humbled by what we are trying to keep from Him, but it does hurt to keep on keeping it from Him. He already knows, so what are we hiding, anyway? NO ONE is too bad for Him to look at and NO ONE is too good that He doesn’t have to see what they are up to. We are totally exposed before Him and all that He asks is that we come to Him, now, for whatever our needs are. He doesn’t want us to stop and fix ourselves first. He wants us to come, just as we are, NOW. May we all be bold enough to come “as we are” to the party and find JOY in doing just that. We are, after all, His very special Valentines!