Stacy’s wardrobe–or perhaps I should say wardrobes–were rather unique. In one closet, she had what could best be described as rags. The clothing was tattered and worn…and filthy. Insects even nested in some of the sleeves. This wardrobe was an old one Stacy had back when she lived on the streets–back before the King had adopted her.
In contrast, the other closet hosted a wealth of beautiful, brand-new (and sparkling clean) clothes. The wardrobe was truly fit for a princess–and there was something to wear for every occasion. From elegant dresses trimmed tastefully to comfortable lounge wear, the closet had the very best a girl could long for–all a gift from the King to his beloved daughter.
With such choices, you might suppose that Stacy always wore something from the clean, nice closet. After all, who would want to wear (let alone be seen in) tattered, filthy clothes instead of the best wardrobe imaginable?
And yet, Stacy often found herself sporting her old tattered clothes.
“Stacy, you need to change clothes,” her older sister Anna admonished her. “That’s no way for a princess to dress.”
Stacy looked down with a gasp. She didn’t even realize she was wearing her old clothes! Mortified, she raced to her room and hid her head under a pillow. Anna followed and tenderly removed the pillow.
“It’s okay, Stacy. Don’t waste the rest of the day crying over it. The King’s love for you is unconditional. You don’t have to live in shame. Just go put away your old garment and put on one of your new pieces of clothing now and come on down to dinner, won’t you? You don’t want to miss out on what the King has prepared.”
Anna’s words calmed Stacy. She went and put on one of her new dresses.
I wish I could report that she never wore one of her old rags again, but that wouldn’t be true. She struggled to put away her old garments and start wearing her new ones. It felt as if the old garments had a strange way of getting back on her despite her resolves to never wear them again. She found she had to remind herself every day to put away the old and put on the new.
Slowly but surely, she began to look more like the princess she was, wearing her new garments more and her old ones less and less.
“But now you must put them all away: anger, wrath, malice, slander, and obscene talk from your mouth…. Put on then, as God’s chosen ones, holy and beloved, compassionate hearts, kindness, humility, meekness, and patience, bearing with one another and, if one has a complaint against another, forgiving each other; as the Lord has forgiven you, so you also must forgive. And above all these put on love, which binds everything together in perfect harmony.” Colossians 3:8, 12-14 (ESV)