My Tattered Clothes Remain

The alarm sounds and I reach over to find my husband still sleeping. “Wake up, you leave today. . . I miss you already.” We linger, holding that one last hug before we set the day in motion.  I pray, “God, cover him as he travels this week,” and I rest in his arms another minute.

We stumble around in the morning light. Our usual morning routine disrupted by this early morning flight.  Two showers.  Breakfast.  Last minute packing.  Snacks. Passport. Hanging clothes. Book.  We are ungraceful and the clock says it is time to leave–well past the time to leave.  Forgotten items send us scurrying. And the peaceful moments we savored just before we slid out of bed become a distant memory. 

We head out the door later than planned. And rain–torrential–slows our pace further.  Traffic.  Brake lights.  A bumper-to-bumper parade going nowhere. I note that we missed every light. Why is it when I’m late that the lights are all red? And why not bring up more negative things to pile on to the morning stress. . .

Why is it that, when things are what they are–things I can’t change–I make them worse? I thrive on the negative and create more stress.  Instead of savoring the last hour I get to spend with my loving husband, I squander it with my ugly side.  Why don’t I just shrug things off and laugh about them? And then I think:

“All that makes Him precious and dear to the Father has been transferred to me. His excellency and glory are seen as if they were mine; and I receive the love, and the fellowship, and the glory, as if I had earned them all.” Horatius Bonar, The Everlasting Righteousness.

This morning I haven’t earned them all, that’s for sure. I’m grateful I don’t have to. And, I’m certain the way I’m behaving isn’t what Bonar was talking about with respect to the things that make Christ precious and dear to the Father. I imagine God, in a parental stance, arms folded, saying those things parents say to children when they over react–those things I’ve said to my only children so many times.

Yet, I am loved by the Father, even when I am clothed in the ugly. In my tattered “clothes,” I feel ashamed.  Deep sadness for this foolishness.  Deeper sadness that I haven’t poured out Christ’s love on my husband.

I breathe in God’s grace and forgiveness. The words spill out, “I’m so sorry. I wanted to take you to the airport so that I could spend this last hour with you. . . . And now, look what I’ve done. . . . Please forgive me.”  I see a glimmer of God’s grace and mercy and love trickle down on us. We travel in silence the rest of the way to the airport.

We remain wounded by the morning, but I know we will heal like we have so many times before. We say our good-byes and I-love-yous, and I slowly pull away from the curb, reminding myself that “All that makes Him precious and dear to the Father has been transferred to me [and my husband].”

My tattered clothes remain, but the gift of the Father’s love and the promise of the cross, is transforming me one tiny thread at a time.


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Posted on April 5, 2011, in Christianity, God, Grace, love, marriage and tagged , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink. 6 Comments.

  1. Thank you for this. It was beautiful and timely. My heart shouted, “YES!” at your Horatius Bonar quote. Blessings and grace to you from one woman clothed in ugly to another.

  2. I’m sorry your morning didn’t go as you would have liked! I am pretty sure we can all claim a morning or two like that, or a million other little times when we were less than who we wanted to be. Circumstances get in our way time and time again…….but the beauty is realizing it, owning it, restoring the ones we may have offended as that is how we are transformed thread by thread…..and you did that! Praise God for His gift of grace and mercy, for He is good all the time…….all the time! xoxo
    P.S. Now have a great rest of the day! 🙂

  3. Elizabeth, It’s good to find you blogging again. This was a wonderful post. I chuckled as I read it because I know that my post for tomorrow (already written and scheduled) has to do with our tattered and filthy gutter clothes, and how Christ changes them into beautiful wedding garb. Peace, Linda

    • Linda –
      It’s good to be blogging again, too! I’ve missed it and needed it. I look forward to reading your post tomorrow. A wedding dress sounds good about now. 🙂
      Godspeed, Elizabeth

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