Venus of the rags – a daily prompt on clothing

The lilies of the field

The lilies of the field

When it comes to clothes, Jesus tells us not to worry, as even the lilies in the field in their short-lived robes are more glorious than a kings garments. Just so, they are.

The bit about worrying gets a new meaning in our part of the world though. I still never have been cold, naked or dressed in rags from pure need.  Still, in our abundance, we tend to worry.

Venus of the rags, by Michelangelo Pistoletto

Venus of the rags, by Michelangelo Pistoletto

Not about having something to wear, but about what our outfit signalize to the world around us. As we are part of a material world what we do, and how we look do signalize something,  if we want it to or not. As any other way of being, what we do, what we say, how we use our resources and talents, how we dress signals values. It is not  only as in how I use money, but in what my appearance tells others of how I regard them, and myself.

Clothes that speak of freedom...

Clothes that speak of freedom…

I like my clothes to do what Jesus said, look at the lilies, or the birds, or the fish, the sky, the water. I like to listen to the rustle of fresh tulips or brittle eucalyptus, I like to understand how the design of a flower is created both to be beautiful and practical. I love to learn how the fur of my dog keeps him warm and dries quickly when he has been swimming. In short, I love to create, buy, find and use clothes that are beautiful, practical and comfortable. I like my clothes to tell the world that as a human, I am one of God’s creations made to create, work, comfort, love and enjoy.

IMG_1573 seasonalSo there are clothes for serving, for spreading love and cheer.

IMG_7279 practicalThere are clothes for working.

IMG_2348 enjoyingThere are clothes made for exploring and enjoying the world, and what could inspire more than the colors of a norwegian mountain in fall?

No creepers

No creepers

I do not like to blend in, as I believe every one of us deserves to be seen, to be useful and to recognize the special talents and calling that each of us has.

P1030362 workmanshipI like structure, texture and workmanship that matches what I am planning to do!

I once made this quilt, describing how I sometimes feel like an ice bird together with tropical beauties, as what I love, do not always show on the outside.IMG_3021 tropical scrap


But most of all, oh to be dressed like a flower!IMG_4548 peony 2

Do nothing, do no thing



We were in Disney World, me and four children.
We laughed, had hotdogs, did the rides, had the best day ever, until we strolled away from the ghost train and I suddenly discovered that we were me and three children. When did we last see the four-year old?

I grabbed an attendant who stopped the ride and searched the train, no little boy.
An alert was made, and I was told to go back the way we came, back to the entrance.

More running than walking down a little hill we saw people assembled at a plaza, I feared the worst and forced my way through the crowd, children in hand.

There he was, like a bird in a cage, running back and forth, crying, not hearing any of the kind voices trying to reach him, not seeing any of the ways out, just running.
He did not hear me either. I crouched down, in the middle of the square, stretched my arms wide open and caught him in an embrace when he whisked by.

He collapsed, shaking, sobbing: “I did not know what to do!”

We sorted it out, we celebrated the reunion, we had a tale to tell when my husband came home from work.
I am often reminded of this day though, every time panic is almost taking control.
Every time I hear my own fretful voice:” I do not know what to do!”

Then I stop my self, just before I start running in circles, doing everything, trying anything, working up a frenzy.
Just then I tell myself, If you really do not know what to do, it is probably best to do nothing.

Not forever, not never doing anything, just now. Relax, breath, stop.
If there really is not anything you can do, the best thing is to do that, nothing.

If  there should be a thing you can do, one tiny step in the mess you are in, you’ll have to be real quiet to find it.

More often than not there are things we could do, there are things we should do, and in hard times the way forward will take strength, integrity and effort.

Perhaps our running about is just the lazy way of spending our strength in a way that does not demand anything? It is easier to wring our hands, cry, do a lot of activity and then say to everybody I am totally exhausted, and there is nothing more I can do. Everybody would sympathize with that, poor you, you have done everything you could have done.

No one will be willing to say, perhaps you did the wrong things, perhaps you wasted your energy doing pointless things, when your strength was given you for the task only you could do?

I think that is what God is doing. Looking down on the earth he sees us running about, busy, busy, and he wonders, did I not tell them clearly what is important? And he does it again: In quietness and trust is your strength (Isaiah 30:15). Not never to do anything, just now to do nothing, nothing else than stop, wait and trust.