I’ve been thinking about coats today. Winter coats, rain coats, cute coats vs. useful coats. I snapped at my kids this morning about how they needed to take their coats to school. But, did I take mine? Nope. Did my mom always tell me to wear a coat? Yep. Did I listen? Nope.
When I left this morning to go to my weekly bible study, the heavens opened and the rain poured down on me. I shook like a dog when I got inside the church. I should have worn that coat.
We’re watching a Beth Moore DVD about the disciple John. Want to know what she talked about today? You got it – coats.
She told the story of an evangelist who had befriended a man in a nearby town and was trying to share the good news of Jesus with him. The man argued that he wanted no part of Christianity. He’d seen those Christians walking around in their fancy robes and performing all sorts of evils in Jesus’ name. The evangelist asked him a simple question. “Say I borrowed your coat. Then I went and robbed a bank. I escaped, but several people saw me from a distance and recognized your coat. When they came to arrest you, what would you say?” The man answered, “I would deny it.” The evangelist argued, "But they recognized you by your coat!" After much time had passed, the man came back to the evangelist and asked to learn more about Jesus. When he accepted Christ, he told the evangelist, “You wear your Father’s coat well.” Beth Moore asked us, “How are you wearing your Father’s coat? How well do they see the Father through you?”
All I could think of was, “I hate wearing coats.” Any time I can sneak out of the house without a coat, I do it. I think, “Oh, I don’t really need it. I won’t be outside that long. It will cover up my cute outfit. I’ll be fine without it.”
Is this how I think of my Father's "coat?" I’ll be fine without it? I don’t need it? I can do it on my own? Can I really do “life” on my own? Do I really want to? The Father’s coat could mean so many things. God offers to wrap me in love, forgiveness, holiness and joy. Why do I so often insist on doing it my own way – standing out in the cold and rain? Why do I push Him away?
I went home for a quick lunch before heading off to the coffee shop for my daily writing session. As I stepped out of the door, I paused. The rain still pattered on the sidewalk. I stepped back inside and made a beeline for the closet.
Now, where is that coat?