Why I'm always wearing T-shirts: Comfort and Discomfort in a Post-Vegas America

I have entirely given in.

I own actual pajamas, with buttons and drawstrings and adorable patterns and one pair even with an initial on the pocket.

I also own blouses and sweaters and jackets and camisoles and all sorts of fantastic other garments.

Never mind.

I have given in to the T-shirt.

First Birthday T-shirt

It has been courting me for decades: from that first one I got in T-ball, to the bags of parks and rec T-shirts I got for free from my dad that I showered upon all the girls in the senior class, bestowing upon me that inexplicable cool factor for at least three days.

I loved T-shirts in my 20s. I bought them all at Steve & Barry's, a now-defunct (shocking) clothing store that sold everything for $8.

I had my workout T-shirts from Steve & Barry's: Ohio State Buckeyes, Florida State Seminoles.

I had my "going out" T-shirts from Steve & Barry's: a Canada flag with a silhouetted hockey player that I liked to wear with black short-shorts and high heels.

I had my church T-shirts: plain in color and worn with peasant skirts.

I had my work T-shirts: worn under a Juicy Couture clearance velvet blazer.

Work T-shirt

Now in my 30s I'd graduated to V-necks with stretch, purchased on Amazon and at Target and sometimes on sale at Nordstrom.

I have taken to wearing them to bed too, hugging myself around the waist and breathing in - breathing out - as if a simple garment could make the world safe and predictable again, like it was in T-ball and high school.

I pulled on my Florida t-shirt, with its picture of beaches and palm trees, when my former home in Bonita Springs was pummeled by Hurricane Irma.

Finding out about Las Vegas, where I got engaged and served as a pastor for a year - where my son was baptized - I exhaustedly pulled a red T-shirt over my head and climbed into bed at the end of a long, emotional day.

I was leading a workshop for preachers and I could feel the sense of desperation and fatigue battling within me. The word of God needed so desperately now. Our inability to communicate it rightly. Its hijacking by those who would use it to spread hatred, fear and death.

A red T-shirt, the color of blood spilled not just in Las Vegas but in Orlando and Newtown and San Bernardino. And at the high school my husband graduated from: last week a teenager shot herself.

This veteran wears a red T-shirt to donate blood in Las Vegas after the country's worst mass shooting.

Death is in the air, and I told my workshop attendees that we must trust the Holy Spirit that it is not us alone who speaks when we preach: the Spirit speaks for us, as Jesus said:

When they bring you before the synagogues, the rulers, and the authorities, do not worry about how you are to defend yourselves or what you are to say; for the Holy Spirit will teach you at that very hour what you ought to say." - Luke 12:11-12

I need the strength of the Spirit, the confidence to hold on loosely to my life and let the Spirit lead, lest I drift into complacency or anxiety.

I wore a red T-shirt two nights in a row. Red not only for blood but for passion. For fire. For power.

Fashion tells us that red is a big color this season. I think that is good. Those of who have been quiet must take on the mantle of boldness.

Today I led my workshop again, and I traded my beloved T-shirt for a short-sleeved blouse with suede jacket. I wore killer heels, even though I find them uncomfortable.

Perhaps God is calling you to make yourself uncomfortable in this season of need of truth.

Your T-shirt will be waiting for you, as mine is, as Jesus is - to wrap you and carry you when you need comfort.


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