Saturday, November 29, 2008

Inside and Outside

When I think about how my house is decorated, I try to keep in mind that my house is about a hundred years old and the outside style reflects that of that time period. So having a ultra modern interior would not go well with my 1900's shot gun house. Of course there is no science to this or no rule in society about having the outside match the inside but for me it works. Same as how we dress. Don't worry, I am not going to write about how I wonder if I should dress plain or not but at the same time, I was reminded yesterday at Homestead Heritage that dress does reflect where are hearts wish to be. Usually when we attend there I am wearing my usual attire of a long skirt or dress, this year I wore jeans as Emery was afraid I would get sick in the cold damp air as I woke with a sore throat that morning. I have had pneumonia half a dozen times so the family is a bit paranoid about the possibility of me getting it again. The last two times were life and death situations for me. Back to what I was thinking about...I noticed that in dressing the way I did sort of hid my philosophy of life from others, like modesty, old fashioned ethics, etc. Usually there is a nod, a smile from other women dressed simply, homestead like, a common thread that is easily identified in one another by the way we are dressed. Much like fellow bikers do when they see another person all dressed in black leather and looking a little rough around the edges. They can identify one another as having a common interest by the way they are dressed. There wasn't any nods and smiles of kinship of philosophy yesterday for me. It wasn't anything judgemental or stuck up. It was just that my outside didn't reflect what is deep in my heart. The clothes folks wear, lets you know something about the person. Just like a Buddhist monk or nun would recognize another monk or nun by the way they are dressed, or a catholic nun would recognize another nun if they wore a habit.
Or a chic fashion plate says what her interests are by what they wear. It's not a bad thing. It is self expression !
Steven and Priscilla easily recognized fellow Mennonites at the fair even if they did not attend the same church, simply by the clothes the women wore.
I saw a woman at the fair with LL Bean flannel lined jeans, the cuff rolled up to show the pretty plaid flannel. She had a peace symbol around her neck, a serious hiker day pack on her back and a homespun wool knit cap on. I pretty well could guess some of her interests in life. She had on good solid hiking boots too. I guess I would be disappointed to know she never once hiked.
The way we dress reflects our hearts, just as does the way we decorate our homes to some extent. They both reflect what we like in life. What is important to us.
Of course there can be fakes...the folks that dress a certain way, but its only for show and their hearts and actions tell a whole different story. An example would be a woman that wears a headcovering which signifies submission to their husband (father for the unmarried) according to 1 Corinthians 11 and yet is a nagging, pushy wife that is constantly finding fault with her husband and telling him what to do and how to behave. Or if unmarried, is a rebellious daughter. Something in that picture would be really wrong. That would be about like someone who dresses like a Biker and hangs out with bikers but owns only a moped ! You get the idea. Yesterday I felt a bit sad, having the outside not match what is in my heart in a community of like minded people. Made me think. Makes me more aware of how important self expression by clothing choice is.


Pieceful Afternoon said...

And yet there can be the opposite. In the 70s when my children were pre-school and early grade school it was fashionable for some ages to wear long dresses (Little House on the Prairie influence, and some hippy influence) - and I was at the market one day, wearing a long dress, pushing my kids in the shopping cart. Two older ladies highly disapproved and said so, so that I could hear. My thought was - what a shame, for there is much they could learn from a young woman like me, and much I could learn from their maturity - but by looking at the outside they had made the decision to not participate in what could have been beneficial for both.

I think a smiling face and happy demeanor is the best sign of what is inside - no matter the outside. Today we saw a young man, long hair, tattoos all over, knit stocking cap pulled down over long shaggy hair, leather jacket and a big mustache, and he was the one that took the arm of an elderly lady and helped her with her walker down from the sidewalk - when others dressed more conservatively whisked past her without a thought of her safety or needs. Again - not the outside, but the inside. May we all look beyond these things and find the good in everyone - and acknowledge it. a smile to anyone is almost always returned - we thanked the young man for his consideration and he blushed so sweetly - under his tattoos.

Patty said...

Oh I agree, we miss out on so much by just looking on the outside but it seems as if its our nature to do so. We find it difficult to move past the way we are wired to look for commonalities experssed by how we dress or what we read or whose politcal pin we wear on our shirt.

Susan said...

I agree with you Patty!! We were at Homestead Heritage today and it was so nice to be around so many like-minded people. We've made some really dear friends out there and their hearts just shine through!

A New Year

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