It was the 3rd Saturday of the month and we had driven the church van out to the central pickup church where we loaded it with prepackaged meals to be distributed later that day to members of our congregation. Our members had paid from $24 to $300 to receive these monthly packages of food that could be easily placed in a freezer or immediately distributed to the needy. Even if we only obtained enough food for ourselves the increase in the volume of purchased by members easily provided a cushion to allow distribution to the needy without cost.
We loaded our van under the guidance of Pastor Doe. She had prayed blessings upon our efforts as we moved out from our church and again she blessed our efforts just as distribution started with families streaming in to pickup the packages they had ordered. I felt good about our participation although we had not ordered much. We had learned that there were some things we did not really like and therefore did not eat them, and although the overall purpose was good we did not want to be wasteful. We did kick-in an additional amount to purchase additional meals to be distributed to the needy within our congregation.
No one said anything to her about the sweat pants. She could wear anything she liked and it was not our business to approve or disapprove. We just assumed that she had put on a pair of her daughter’s sweat pants and had not noticed the slogan . . . on the back, on the seat, she would not have seen it.
We did wonder, well I wondered, why she would allow her daughter to wear the Juicy Couture sweat pants anyway. As we were performing a church function, maybe sweat pants were not the appropriate attire for a supervising pastor.
It was not until the senior pastor arrived early for another function that the clothing choice was brought to her attention, Quite a message you are displaying there Sister, he said. Those must be Allison’s.
She did not follow. But said, Yes they are. I just grabbed a pair of her sweats which are perfect for the occasion – heavy lifting.
Pointing to the back of her pants he said, Juicy, huh! And he smiled, and laughed. He knew she did not know what she was wearing, and this would be somewhat embarrassing to her. So he injected humor.
Realizing her mistake, she span around like a dog searching for its tale, yanking the fabric towards her view, yet realizing she would not be able to see what was written, and at the same time knowing she did not need to see it. She should have looked before she put them on. She should not have purchased them for her daughter, then they would not have been in the hamper for her to mistakenly select them. Despite her 14-year-old daughters pleas that other girls were wearing them, she should not have given in.
We all laughed. Laughing with her, encouraging her to laugh with us, knowing that it was a mistake, and that she would never have selected those pants for this occasion. This was not how she would be branded.
But, there were questions. As a teacher within the church, is this the way to allow her daughter to be branded? With the new precedents set by our new president, should young women not be taught about properly branding themselves for Christ? Who should be setting standards for young girls if not their teachers and parents? She certainly qualified as one.
1 Timothy 2:9-10 (NIV) 9 I also want women to dress modedstly, with decency and propriety, not with braided hair or gold or pearls or expensive clothes, 10 but with good deeds, appropriate for women who profess to worship God.