Are You Going to Wear It?

Just Passing by Just ArdIt wasn’t my outfit that offended; it was my belief.

After the disgruntled person walked away, a friend remained and asked me if I was okay. Neither of us had more than a few minutes to talk. I blurted out, “I think I’ve just been shamed.”

My friend took a deep breath and let it out slowly. “Are you going to wear it?” he asked.

His question surprised and relieved me. I had a choice. I didn’t have to accept the heavy judgment placed on me.

This was exactly what I had talked about with Karen in spiritual direction a few weeks before.

“I seem to collect other people’s fears and judgments,” I had said. “I get so weighed down by it all.” I told her about a particular incident that had upset me.

As we sat in God’s presence, I had seen myself draped in a heavy coat of fear. Jesus, filled with compassion, lifted the ill-fitting coat off my shoulders. As he did, I realized that the coat didn’t fit because it wasn’t mine.

Are you going to wear it? Jesus asked me now. I didn’t have to feel ashamed for having a different opinion than someone else. I could let it go.

As I did, peace returned and joy too. I felt grateful for my friend and for God, who had lovingly orchestrated the timely exchange.

Even though I have been reborn into God’s delight, coats of shame, fear and judgment–of all shapes and colours–are still thrust on me. I refuse one and the next day four more take its place. Goodness, has there been a sale on ugly coats?

I breathe in and out slowly.

No matter. I’d rather leave a trail of coats than wear them.

Pure JoyIt is for freedom that Christ has set us free.
Stand firm, then, and do not let yourselves
be burdened again by a yoke of slavery.
– Galatians 5:1 (NIV)

“Just Passing” by Just Ard. Used with permission.
“Pure Joy” by Martin Hricko. Used with permission.
© Esther Hizsa, An Everyday Pilgrim, 2014.
Unauthorized use and/or duplication of this material without permission from Esther Hizsa is strictly prohibited. Excerpts and links may be used provided there is a link to the original content and credit is given as follows: © Esther Hizsa, An Everyday Pilgrim 2013, 2014

About Esther Hizsa

Esther is a spiritual director and writer. She lives in Burnaby with her husband, Fred, and they have two grown children and two grandchildren.
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