The T-Shirts We Wear

Americans surely have a love affair with their t-shirts.

They express loyalty:  to sports teams, universities, and causes.  They express belonging:  to families (and reunions), a variety of special interests, and teams.  They express fondness and memories:  to old TV characters, favorite sayings and scriptures, and trips taken.

In my house, we have a plethora of t-shirts that show all the different rec teams my guys have been on.  The standard souvenir when we have been on a trip is a t-shirt.  All the boys have t-shirts with my alma mater (Go Hokies!).  We also have a variety of t-shirts for the Nationals, Yankees, Giants, and Colts.

I had a conversation this morning with a dear friend about the t-shirts we should wear.

You see, she has had hard stuff in her life, too.  She lives with cancer, and has for more than 14 years.  She is doing well, the doctors say.  She is a survivor.  And I think she is amazing.

But she shared with me that sometimes she would like to have a bio to pass out, rather than to retell the story.  She would rather not deal with the pity — or the label.  She would rather wear the t-shirt I Have Cancer, But I’m Still Here than to go through the whole, drawn-out explanation.

I get that.  Some days I am ready to share my life and my story; some days I am not.

Some days, I see myself wearing a t-shirt that says Widow with Four Children – Don’t Judge Me, Just Love Me.  That way, I don’t have to go through the story or the pity, either.  And I might not have to explain being a little…off.

Other days, I am more ready to wear a t-shirt that says Ask Me My Story…See God in Action!  Or, I’m Not Superwoman, But My God Is Superman!  I am ready and eager to share what God has done and is doing in my life and the lives of my kids.

I guess my point is this:  I am more than the label, more than the momentary t-shirt I wear.  In my humanness I often miss the mark of representing Who I love the most.  And I need to ask Him to forgive me for that.

I have the opportunity–and the responsibility, I believe–to rise beyond my circumstances and be a living example of my God.  I am the sum total of all I have been through and all I will go through, but, most importantly, how I have responded to these things.

And as such, the t-shirt I strive to wear is this:  God’s Child, Wholly and Completely!

But you will receive power when the Holy Spirit comes on you; and you will be My witnesses in Jerusalem, and in all Judea and Samaria, and to the ends of the earth. – Acts 1:8

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