Yesterday I went to brunch with 9 ladies at a country club-like establishment. We were all dressed alike with matching "bachelorette weekend" shirts and then shorts. Except for me. I wore a jean skirt. As the 9 of us sat down to dine at the buffet-style brunch, the hostess asked me to leave the dining room because I was not dressed "appropriately". She explained that my jean skirt was not hemmed and that was not permitted. I questioned the hostess because there were ladies dining in athletic shorts but she would not allow me to stay. So I was made to return to my room and change clothes in order to wrap up our celebratory weekend and enjoy brunch. It was rather humiliating. And I was furious.
For anyone that knows me...I don't believe I dress like a slob. I like to accessorize and usually am dressed more than appropriate. Never in a million years did I think wearing a non-hemmed skirt, while the entire crew was in an assortment of casual shorts, would result in me being kicked out of brunch. As I returned to brunch with the girls, I was so angry inside. I had several thoughts that crossed my mind but most of the thoughts resulted in one conclusion -- I would never associate with people that treated others like they were "less than" based on a pretentious standard.
Then I realized...I do it all the time. And I bet you do it too.
I love to accessorize and shop and dress up. And in my head I have a "standard" of what is and is not appropriate. And although I have never outwardly told someone they were not dressed appropriate...I have allowed pretentious thoughts and judgements to invade my mind. I have had thoughts like "didn't she look in a mirror before she left the house" or "that fashion trend does not look good on her/his body". I could go on but I would only further bring myself to shame and I am guessing you get my point without further embarrassment. So once again as I reflected on my circumstance and the horrible way it felt to be treated in such a manner, I was humbled to my knees in forgiveness.
My brothers, show no partiality as you hold the faith in our Lord Jesus Christ, the Lord of glory. For if a man wearing a gold ring and fine clothing comes into your assembly, and a poor man in shabby clothing also comes in, and if you pay attention to the one who wears the fine clothing and say, “You sit here in a good place,” while you say to the poor man, “You stand over there,” or, “Sit down at my feet,” have you not then made distinctions among yourselves and become judges with evil thoughts? Listen, my beloved brothers, has not God chosen those who are poor in the world to be rich in faith and heirs of the kingdom, which he has promised to those who love him?
Life is tough. And yet we make it harder on each other by setting standards for one another that are superficial and meaningless. What does it matter if one lady dines in an unhemmed skirt while another dines in shorts? What does it matter if the girl walking in the mall has on an outfit that I don't find 'up to par'? In the big picture...it doesn't matter one single bit. It's a superficial standard that is not only meaningless but more times than not, just plain mean.
Humiliated, humbled, and hem-less,
Just a few reflections about everything God is teaching me in this life...a journey deeper into His purpose for my life.