Storytelling Clothes

Faithful fashion in an over-consuming culture.

Appears in Winter 2010 Issue: Faithful living
December 1st, 2010

"Our safeguard is in the shallow things," writes Oswald Chambers. "We have to live the surface common-sense life in a common-sense way; when the deeper things come, God gives them to us apart from the shallow concerns."

For many of us, clothing is a shallow thing. But, like the food we eat, it is a daily necessity and a part of God's larger story. Consequently, it is worthy of our attention.

We may be surprised to learn that God himself pays attention to our clothing. He concerns himself with every detail of the story we are telling with our lives: our words, our actions, the food we eat, the relationships we foster, the clothes we wear. He is a God of love, of relationship, and of details. He is so interested in the details that He expressly directed the elaborate design of the priestly garments described in Exodus 24:

Artistically woven according to the workmanship of the ephod you shall make it: of gold blue purple, and scarlet thread, and fine woven linen . . . It shall be doubled into a square: a span shall be its length, and a span shall be its width. And you shall put settings of stones in it, four rows of stones . . . And the stones shall have the names of the sons of Israel, twelve according to their names, like the engravings of a signet, each one with its own name; they shall be according to the twelve tribes. You shall make chains for the breastplate at the end, like braided cords of pure gold.

Clothing is a topic to which we pay little attention except, perhaps, when the conditions in poorly ventilated sweat shops make the front page news. Like us, God cares about the woman behind the serger, and He also cares what we put on our backs. We seldom remember that the first garments were made by God for Adam and Eve in the Garden.

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