I had errands to run after work today. And I forgot what I was wearing.
At the drug store, some guy pushed me out of his way to get ahead of me into the (long, long, ridiculously long) line. He turned around to half-heartedly apologize, and then blushed. And said, “Please. You go first.”
I smiled, said that it was OK and I wasn’t in a hurry. In the next five minutes, (I told you — it was a ridiculously LONG line!) he bent my ear on all of the stuff in his life that was just, well, ugly. Job, kids, car, wife, mom… lots of stuff he was worried about. When it was his turn to check out, he said, sheepishly, “well, thanks for listening, Pastor.”
And then I remembered… I had worn my clerical collar to the hospital today. Suddenly it all made sense.
The blush. The apology. The sheepish smile.
I wondered if I represented Christ well today as I drove home. I hoped that I didn’t drive like my maniacal NASCAR alter-ego. I hoped that I smiled and waited my turn at the 4-way stop intersection. And while I was doing my shopping, I hoped that I at least had a pleasant expression on my face, not a scowl.
Truth be told, I frequently don’t remember by the end of the day that I have my collar on. I’m guessing that is good… and bad. I’ll work on it.
P.S. True story: One time I was talking to a family at the hospital and was in “civvies” (dress work clothes). Their youngest son looked at me and said, “Hey, I’ve never seen you with CLOTHES ON!” Oh my…