In poker there’s a great word: it’s called a tell. It’s an action or thing someone does that tells you about what’s in their hand, what their next play may be, if they’re nervous. I love this concept, mostly because of how it works elsewhere. Sometimes you see something about an individual and it just speaks volumes to you about this person. For example, there’s this guy with devil’s horns imbedded under the skin of his skull. Now looks can be incredibly deceiving. I know that. But my first instinct when I see this guy is to think he probably doesn’t do scrap booking. Or sell Amway. Or vote Republican.
Or any of the first ten possible party affiliations on any standard college political science list. Maybe after Republican and Democrat and Independent and Green and Socialist and Communist. . .way down there, there’s this Beelzebub Wannabe Caucus that he’s shooting for. I don’t know. But ya gotta be careful. You can be really wrong about assumptions. He could run a preschool daycare program for indigent immigrants for all we know.
However, sometimes you just know you’re spot on.
There was this woman at my church. She was really new and had already volunteered to help us with VBS. I didn’t know her at all but she and I were asked to move some boxes from the furnace room in the basement up to the classrooms. So off we go. In she trots to this little furnace room, squats down to pick up a couple of the boxes, and when she does her jeans drop down a bit in the back. Now these were not those low rise puppies that descend so frighteningly that you’re suddenly reminded Crack kills. No. These were perfectly respectable jeans. Godly jeans. Jeans I might even wear. But out the back, like a kite set free to the wind, was a big old tag. To me it indicated two things.
1—she wore granny panties that went all the way up to the top of her jeans and clearly covered every square inch of her behind and then some. No hip hugger, bikini cut, or heaven-forbid dental floss look to these puppies. These undergarments were THERE. . .and they were standing their ground.
2— But the second thing it indicated, given tag’s current position, was that this woman’s underwear was inside out. Perhaps she’d dressed that morning in the dark, unaware of the current orientation of her undergarments. Perhaps she was fully aware of their reversed status but needed to get out the door to a waiting van full of her loving family. Or perhaps she saw that the underwear was inside out and she simply didn’t care. She couldn’t be bothered using her remaining brain cells and limited time on such fripperies as correctly oriented underwear.
And what could I determine from this littlest snippet of information about this woman?
I liked her.
Probably a lot.
We might even be soul mates.
I’m pretty sure there’s a chapter in the Bible on women like us—women who put no stock in outer appearance or apparel, women who look to serve, even in the dusty dungeons of the church furnace rooms. I know it’s not Proverbs 31 because there you’ll find quite a bit of pressure to have beautifully dressed family members wearing lots of scarlet and purple. There’s much weaving and storing up for the winter. Maybe the scripture I’m seeking has more to do with the verse I have painted on my laundry room wall. While other women might approach their laundry, look upon those many piles of soiled and dirty clothes with great pain and resignation, I just glance up at my verse, and find peace, inspiration and grace every time.
What’s it say?
They were naked, and they were not ashamed.