"what shall we wear?"
There's a sweet looking couple who often sit in front of us in church. They are probably in their late fifties or early sixties. He's white and she's Asian, and he's about a foot and a half taller than she is. Hard to miss, really.
They sit very close to one another, which impresses me, because they also both manage to take notes during the service. As much as I love the Apple of my Eye, we usually pull away from one another just a bit, so that we both have our right hand free to write. Maybe I should have married a lefty.
Anyhow, they seem to be a very close couple. But a few weeks ago, more than halfway through the service, I realized that the gentleman, who was sitting in front of me, had his shirt on inside-out. I had noticed the tag that said Pierre Cardin, but these days a lot of designers put their names in very visible places on clothing, so I didn't think anything about it.
But then a little while later I looked up and realized that I could also see the tag that had the size and care information. That caused me to glance at the seams, and sure enough, it was inside-out.
I sort of grinned to myself ~ there but for the grace of God, right? And I went back to paying attention to the sermon. A few minutes later the wife snuggled in and put her head on the husband's shoulder, and she must have realized it too, because she broke out into a fit of silent, shoulder-shaking giggles. And then it was all I could do not to laugh right along with her. But I didn't.
The whole thing reminded me of a conversation that I had with my sweetie, soon after we were married. We were getting ready to leave, and I asked him how I looked. He gave me a glance and said, "Fine," or "Good," or some such. But I was wanting more than that. I gave him a little "lesson" that would help me out. I told him that any time I asked him how I looked, I was asking if my outfit looked alright, but also if my outfit was appropriate for our destination, and if my hair was doing that "floopy" thing, and if my slip was showing, and if I had a tag hanging out, or a loose thread.
I know; sort of an all-encompassing request. But this is what we need from each other. We need people who see what's wrong, and have the courage and sensitivity to tell us. And of course, it reaches farther than that. It is also about letting each other know if our attitudes are appropriate for the situation, or there's any bitterness showing, or unkindness hanging out.
A marriage is a good place for this. The best, in a lot of cases. But if that's not the case for you, you need to have someone in your life who can be another set of eyes, and then gently point it out if you find yourself somehow inside-out.
~ "The way of a fool is right in his own eyes,
But he who heeds counsel is wise" ~