“Over all these virtues put on love, which binds the rest together and makes them perfect.” Col. 3:14 Do I clothe myself with love over everything else, over whatever style is popular, over whatever way I may be seeking to define or distinguish myself?
“Dad, you’re wearing one brown sock, one black?” Does what I wear say something about me? I’m colorblind.
More shirts than dresser space, I set out to reduce and simplify. How many shirts do I need? Which do I consider donating? Does what I wear signify who I am? Am I too attached?
The first I pull: Komen Race for the Cure Hope Strength Support Courage Community
Words, reprinted in the languages of our international brothers and sisters, fill a pink heart.
My wife slept in this shirt following the most emotionally draining surgery in her life.
It was also the surgery that extended her life. Tears give way to a smile. I’m not big on pink, but my wife says I wear it well. I keep it.
I recalled wearing a suit on game days as a varsity athlete. I stood taller, distinguished among my peers who did not compete. When we traveled, hosts knew we were the guests, the athletes. Coaches and teachers always reminded us we represented a larger group, our school, our community by our appearance. Has my mindset changed?
Former players quote from my favorite mantra I designed on a team shirt. “Failure is not an option.” Losing a game or loss in life is not failure as long as one performs and bounces back with the best of who they are. A Texan filled the back side. “We’ll fight ‘em until hell freezes over and then we’ll fight ‘em on the ice.”
I keep the team memory and set the shirt aside for another to promote the mantra forward.
Am I willing to give away, sometimes to the point of discomfort?
HI life. Celebrated 26 years of marriage while hiking with my family in Hawaii. I’m HI on life!
Infinite # of math expressions splattered across fabric. Creation’s mysteries coded in science. I marvel in discoveries as they were, are now, and are yet to come.
Lone Wolf’s Midnight Howl. ascend love paddle camp run ski swim live ride catch pedal climb walk board laugh see explore. Color fading, but not my memory. Ran beneath the stars. I chewed dust as my 8 yr. old roadrunner cruised to victory in her first 5k! She’s still running. I’m still collecting memories.
Princeton Engineering. Gift from student. Difficult to surrender. We’ve become good friends. I need to drop some pounds. I once fit into this shirt. Wore it in gratitude of teaching and friendship. Perhaps, a dreamer will wear with a vision of possibilities.
Life is good. Enjoy the ride. Hoping someone will feel better along the journey. I did.
Engineering w/o Borders. Women in Engineering chocolate run. Ran in support of former female students studying at Missouri Science & Technology. How’d “chocolate” make their title? I laugh in warmth and wonder. They’re engineers now!
Forest Park XC Festival. Sentimental favorite. My daughter finished 2nd during her freshman year. Doesn’t fit well. Someone will wear it better than I.
Run for Congo-women for women international. This was the first of three annual events in which my daughter then in middle school helped organize a fundraiser. She’s grown in courage, compassion, and generosity. I never medal, but I did in this one. The medals hang with our picture I’d framed. I don’t need three shirts.
Hope Square Blitz Build. Two 17-student crews, two homes completed in two weeks. Lots of nay-sayers, one amazing music video, another to be a Habitat billboard, two ecstatic families!
Johns Hopkins Biomedical Engineering. Gift from students; one a surgeon, another a neural researcher, both of immigrant parents. Worn holes into it. Retired it.
Can clothes send a powerful message?
Labor of Love-Micah Project. My colleague coaxed me to run 5k to support a Honduran orphanage for boys. She lovingly adopted a Honduran son!
Breakfast Club MS Walk. Awful disabling disease. Wear friend’s ugly design for fundraising once a year honoring another wonderful friend battling the disease.
Hope for Haiti. Locally supported Haitian mission school. Reminds me of my sister’s medical mission. Lots of dedicated folks.
Be Bold Be Fearless Be More. Race for the Cure. Historically, my daughter’s favorite run. We’d been running in memory of good friends long before my wife, her mother began her enduring battle with cancer. Both my girls are bolder, more fearless than I. God provided more.
Never Alone when you walk with God. Backpacker on shirt a lot like me. I’ve worn it in the backcountry often. Let someone else know they are never alone.
Can I shed the life I’ve had to enter a new one?
Macklind Mile. Set personal record. Let me know my aging body can still get up and move!
Sublette Lumber & Supply. My brother-in-law’s yard. Where I am from is important to me.
High Magnetic Field-epinephrine. Crystalline structure printed on tie. Child miracle drug used to treat severe allergic reactions. Wore while teaching biochemistry class.
Gave several ties away. Not much of a tie guy.
KU Basketball-Rock Chalk Jayhawks! Alumni. Formed lifetime friends. National title. Badgered by sibling families 100% K-State. Harassed by Tiger fans locally. Need to be Rock-loyal to wear this one.
Parkway South Robotics 10010011110. “Donut Master” Now I know why they keep me around. Trip to World Championships memorable and best yet!
Operation Clean Stream. Clean stream junkie. Incredible graphics. Littered with Missouri fish species. Gave to a friend who’s crazy about fishing.
God hijacked my task! While I thought, I was simplifying, He seeded the entire time with recollections of sacramental moments! I wear what is important to me, what I love; memories, blessings, values, convictions, gifts, support. I engage in an active lifestyle glimpsing the kingdom Jesus describes. In shedding some clothes, I am not giving away my old self, but freeing myself to embrace who I am in the present.
What sacramental moments are hidden in your dresser or closet?
“Over all these virtues put on love . . .” Wear the love well. It is what binds us all together!