Working It Out, One Believer At A Time

Working It Out, One Believer At A Time

Funny thing about these Church Ladies.  I do not doubt for a minute their sincerity or their devotion to their Christian faith.  But some of their ways just seem strange to me.

This particular brand of Church Ladies holds to the Old Testament tenet of having long hair.  Not a thing wrong with that, I reckon.  But it seems to me they’re more concerned with the letter of the law than the spirit of it.

They do indeed have long hair.  I am sitting here watching them buy it.  There is a lady at the sale who has a display of hairpieces.  A prospective customer walks in, chooses a color that most nearly matches hers, and the saleslady shows her just the right way to attach it to her head.  And the hairpieces are really cute, too; there are little pony tails, and curly buns, and all sorts of attractive styles.  In just about any color you could want.  I am considering buying one for myself, but I don’t see any Granny Gray ones.

Now, I don’t have anything against long hair or against Church Ladies.  But I have observed a few things about these particular ones:

They don’t have pierced ears or wear any kind of earrings, but apparently it’s okay to wear as many necklaces and bracelets as you want.  It’s okay to color your hair and to add highlights.  Sparkly sequins on shirts and hairbands are okay, as are sparkly barrettes.

These Church Ladies also do not wear pants, but prefer instead long skirts, usually, but not always, of denim.  One lady had on a denim skirt that was ankle-length, but it didn’t rest at her waistline, but on her hips, kind of a low-slung model.  With it she wore a wide sparkly belt.  It verged on being downright sexy.

And these ladies wear no makeup, either.  Mostly they are absolutely beautiful without it, but it seems odd to me to have a fancy doo-dad hairdo and no makeup. It’s like you need to finish getting ready for the prom, you know.  A touch of lipstick would add a certain zest to the face.

Nothing wrong with anything I’ve mentioned, of course.  It just seems like a bit of a mixed message to me.  One the one hand, taking one little tidbit from the Old Testament and making it an integral part of their Christian walk, and yet negating it with other behavior.

But, to be honest, don’t most of us do that very thing?  Being a Christian is not an easy task, and looking like one can be even harder.  For example, some people say they depend on God for all their needs, but they can’t stop smoking.  Or they slip up and use profanity when something goes wrong.  Or, and this is my favorite – they put Christian bumper stickers or decals on their cars and then act like heathens when someone cuts them off in traffic.

Why do we do this, we feeble earthling Christians?  Or a better question might be, why do we criticize other Christians who do this, and not realize that we do it, too?

I mean, I blow it all the time.  I lose my temper or resent things people do when they mean no harm.  I misunderstand because I don’t listen well.  Maybe you do that sometimes, too.

I chalk this up to the fact that we are humans.  We often fall short of our own ideals.  And it’s always more comforting – as well as a lot easier – to find fault with someone else than ourselves.

Maybe a line we need to take from the Bible is this one: Love your neighbor as yourself.  Or this one: Do unto others as you would have them do unto you.  Or: Why do you see the speck in your brother’s eye and do not see the plank in your own eye?  Or this one:  Every person should work out his own salvation with awe and reverence.

That’s what the Church Ladies are trying to do.  That’s what we all are trying to do.  We should be kind to ourselves and other people, too.  We’re all just folks plodding through this life and trying to get it right, and we all make mistakes sometimes.  So let’s all just PLAY NICE.

So I can wonder about those Church Ladies, but I shouldn’t criticize them.  They’re trying at least as hard as I am.

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