I did a couple of quick laps around the block with a friend of mine (this whole exercising thing has never been quite my forte'), and then headed to a dear friend's' house to watch her three year old daughter for a few hours. I show up with Chick-fila in hand, and wearing my "work out" cloths: long sleeve t-shirt, leggings and gym shorts. Cue curious Kerianne...
"Miss Kristin, um why are you wearing shorts over your pants?"
"Well, these are actually leggings, and I wear them to keep my legs warm while I exercise."
"Um well you're wearing shorts over your pants." She said in a "that's ridiculous" voice. I just laughed as we sat down to some dinner.
After a while, she began to dress up and show me her blue and pink wedding dresses (actually, they are princess dresses that she calls wedding dresses and I'm not even sure she's ever been to a wedding... is it innate for little girls to dream of weddings? another topic, another day...). Then all of a sudden she appears in her normal shirt and pants with one addition: a pair of bright plaid shorts.
"Look Miss Kristin, I match!"
At first I didn't get it. Only on the second or third time of her saying "I MATCH!" did it dawn on me: she matched ME!
Now, no worries, I don't think I scared her fashion sense for life. But standing in my friend's kitchen, watching her curly headed, bright eyed daughter look up at me with a grin... it all became much more real.
I'm not saying shorts and leggings are bad.
I'm not saying they are fashionable.
They actually look quite ridiculous.
I'm saying that little ones watch, whether they are 3 or 13 or 23. The soak up and pay attention to more details than we realize. I can still name the 12th graders that I watched, as a 6th grader, walk into the cafeteria. My friends and I were enamored with the idea of being the star football player, head cheerleader, and the most popular.
So they watch, what's the big deal?
The big deal is that as followers of Christ we are to point all people to the cross and our Savior. Point them with our walk, our talk, our dress, our work, our life.
Praise the Lord that only Christ knows the details and depths of my sin and shortcomings, and uses me anyway. Praise Him that He gives gentle reminders that we are His light in this dark and dying world. Reminders like bright plaid shorts.
"...I will make you as a light for the nations, that my salvation may reach to the end of the earth." Isaiah 49:6b