Brenda’s Blog – August 25, 2020
“I did it and have the T-shirt to prove it!” I have heard this about jobs, parenting, athletic events, and even eating contests.
My closet is full of Tees from travels, most of them very old and way too small for me now. But I keep them because they remind me of great experiences.
My grandson lives on hand-me-downs and thrift store offerings. Consequently, he has tees from a variety of colleges, cities, and sporting events. Often he is asked if he is a graduate of the college whose shirt he is wearing. People just assume he is a student. But no – he is the recipient of someone else’s history.
How often do we adopt someone else’s story instead of creating our own? Isn’t it easier to borrow someone else’s credibility rather than earning our own?
How often do we take on the spiritual background of someone else without establishing our own? I once knew a man who as an adult was challenged by his mentor to “stop riding my spiritual coattails and get your own testimony.” He was wearing someone else’s t-shirt.
Sometimes I randomly glance through my shirts and pause to remember – moments of time travel. Some make me laugh while others bring a few minutes of reflection. But then I fold them, put them back in the closet and promise to do something with them “someday.”
I have a friend whose wife mistakenly used a beloved, but ratty, t-shirt as a cleaning cloth. He almost cried as he explained the significance of the concert tee from his glorious days of youth.
What do our shirts say about us? Volunteer efforts, jobs, travels, athletic pursuits, political affiliations, holidays, or maybe faith statements? We Americans live a t shirt life. Every once in a while perhaps we should take inventory and consider what they say about us, our beliefs, and our character.
We will always go on proclaiming our experiences to the world, bear advertising like living sign boards, and announce our proud loyalties, won’t we? Let’s just make sure they rightly express who we are.