Though I would rather be home waking up to the scent of Mrs. Caldo’s daily offering of fresh-brewed coffee, and preparing myself for church*, instead I am on the road and serving my earthly masters at a fashion show.
More on that later, perhaps.
Per my habits, I visited the circle of imperfects. Being that I had nothing to do today but be available, I had put on my navy suit and some snappy burgundy Rockports: standard business fare. It was foggy, which means still, and I was enjoying the peace of it when a security guard followed the sound of her footsteps out of the mist.
“Mornin’ “, she warned. Her face was nearly as lifeless. She was a heavy-set middle-aged black woman, her stiff hair tied back in a severe bun. Wires of it shot out in rebellion of the stricture. Her shirt had taken the same tack, and hung untucked from under her black windbreaker. “SECURITY”, it said. All of which gave me the impression that it was the end of the graveyard shift for her; which did something to explain her Droopy Dog expression. I took Droopette’s challenge, and fired back.
“Good morning!”, I bawled. The main cannon so discharged, I followed up with a full broadside of pearly whites. It was a withering attack, and her morosity immediately sunk into the the watery air. One lone woman survived, and she raised the white flag of a smile.
She really was very black, and so the surrender was quite stark, spectacular, and pleasing.
Victorious, I turned back towards the fog and took a drag from my Pall Mall.
A signal rocket flared up behind me. “Mm oos uu ah shiny!”, it said.
“Sorry. What was that?”
“I said them shoes sure are shiny! Did you do that yourself?”
“I do shine my own shoes, but these are fairly new. I’ve only worn them three times.”
“Oh, ok. Well they look real good. Have a blessed day!”
“You too, ma’am.”
A man that takes the time to run a quick clean-up–on shoes or attitudes–makes them much brighter; though some shoes take much more work than others, and some shoes simply cannot be salvaged.
*Allow me a brief aside: Get dressed for church. Proper dress for the occasion is a recurring theme in scripture. Do this because it is good for you, and good for those around you. Your nakedness is uncovered by God (for good and bad; for the joy of communion and pain of the need for repentance.) but our dress is an expression of our attitude and spirit towards whatever occasion or event we are attending. Understand that it is the adornment of the spirit that is important, but we are half animal. What we express physically–with clothes–has an effect on our spirit, and vice versa. I lay no undue burden on you to wear a suit or meet any specific standard, but you can at least tuck in your shirt men, and cover your shoulders ladies. This is not a fashion show, but an intimate family wedding rehearsal dinner. (Resale shops are your friend, if you are cash-strapped. There is almost no excuse in America.) Do not get caught undressed. Again: I’m speaking about the spirit, and how your spirit will respond to the flesh. Because every rivers runs into the sea, and our Lord reaps where He did not sow, this habit will overflow from Sunday mornings into the rest of your life. You will reap benefits from being dressed for the occasion at work, school, home ,and–yes–from women. Also, men: Go to church. If nothing else, you can get a sense of the importance to not be an effeminate leader.