Tuesday, August 10, 2010

A Tee Shirt is Worth a Thousand Words

Former Beatle Paul McCartney performed recently here in Nashville and the ticket prices were staggering. I was amazed at the willingness of people who paid more than $200 for the "cheap seats" and would have gladly paid $2000 for a seat on the floor. When it comes to music, celebrities and sports, it seems we often have no hesitation in going all out to show our admiration and devotion.

And yet, when it comes to witnessing for our Faith, a timidity creeps in. Human nature can't help it -- we want to be liked and fit in. But conformity was never a goal of Christ. In fact, in Romans 12:2, we are exhorted to be different: "And do not be conformed to this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind, so that you may prove what the will of God is, that which is good and acceptable and perfect." Thoughts like these run through my mind when I put on any sort of religious clothing whether it's a sweatshirt from Lourdes or a t-shirt from Fatima. Just like everyone else, I wonder how I will be viewed.

Last weekend, I was in a shopping mall that caters to a higher end sort of clientele. Now, I personally hate to shop. The female shopping gene I was supposed to have somehow got mixed up with one that loves football! I usually have to "offer it up" when I am forced to go to a mall. But last weekend, it was almost fun. I decided to wear the n
ew Pier Giorgio Frassati t-shirt. I was very conscious of the puzzled looks at his name on the front of my shirt as I walked around. When I ran into a small boy wearing the newest Tim Tebow Denver Broncos shirt, I stopped to chat with him and his mom. They didn't ask about my shirt but I wondered whom they thought Pier Giorgio Frassati was -- maybe a new fashion designer or a member of the Italian cycling team!

The back of this shirt sums up everything about Pier Giorgio in a simple sentence uttered by Pope John Paul II during his beatification homily: "He testifies that holiness is possible for everyone." Whether you're in the cheap seats or sitting on the floor or at the mall or in your home or sweeping floors or entertaining millions or suffering from an addiction or raising a family or unemployed or athletic or uncoordinated or beautiful or plain or rich or poor or anything else, holiness is for YOU! And all I had to do to spread the message was walk around the mall and let the t-shirt do the talking.

So what have your clothes been saying lately?

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