"Therefore, as God's chosen people, holy and dearly loved, clothe yourselves with compassion, kindness, humility, gentleness and patience." Col. 3:12
I hear him come into my room this morning. He's always the first one in. He wakes up at 5:30 am and goes down to school. He finishes up in a couple of hours and stops by my bed on the way to chores.
This morning I ask him to hop in with me. We need to have a heart to heart.
We lay facing each other, our up-turned twin noses almost touching.
I love him with all my heart, this first born son of mine. Yet I need to hurt him. So in love, I open my mouth, and I correct.
The night before as I laid in front of the fire I heard a conversation.
Dave was teaching the boys how to put together kits for a lighting project he's working on.
Grant wanted to put them together his own way. It was a painfully slower way.
"Grant, would you please just do it how I asked you to."
"I like the way I'm doing it, it's just as good."
"No, it's not. It takes longer that way. I need these done tonight. Would you please listen to me."
"Look Dad, I'm just putting the wires here instead. What difference does it make if I want to do it like this?"
"I know what I'm doing Grant. Do you think you know better than I do?"
I writhed as I laid there and listened. Pride is never pretty.
And now, I lay nose to nose with this son and I tell him that he not only inherited the nose, but the pride of his mama. The fruit doesn't fall far, but it has fallen long through countless generations of sinners.
I show him pride for what it is; setting ourselves in defiance to God. The grasping elevation of Satan. Disobedience. A pitiful rag trying to cover the gaping insecurity.
And it hurts to have it pulled off. Sin is painful, especially when exposed. I see this son ashamed, sorry, embarrassed. It's embarrassing to be stripped naked in front of others, yet it's my job to strip. I take off the soiled garments and show them for what they are. I hold them up to the light. "Do you really want to wear that?" I wash him in prayer and dress him in righteousness.
We talk about clothing ourselves with kindness, gentleness, humility. What does kindness do? What does humility say? What does it look like to wear compassion?
He understands and smiles. He tells me loves me and kisses me and leaves.
And this is my job description, I strip and I clothe. I know that filth left on rots the flesh and so I try to stop and attend no matter how disagreeable it is to do so. The hard part is to remember to not just let them run off naked to try and cover themselves with garments of their own devising. But to take the time to wipe them clean, and dress them lovingly in God's best. To replace what I took away, only with much much better materials.
I know how to do this because this is what God does for me.
Grant inherited my nose and many of my faults, but so much more importantly, he inherited his Father's wardrobe. I'm teaching him how to get dressed.
"I delight greatly in the LORD:
my soul rejoices in my God.
For he has clothed me with
garments of salvation
and arrayed me in a robe of
as a bridegroom adorns his head like
and as a bride adorns herself with