Tuesday, March 31, 2009

The Pocket Square

I have worked off and on in the men's clothing business since the mid 80's. I have seen styles come and go over the years. Ties were skinny, then they got wide, now they are skinny again. Jackets were two button then we saw three button jackets take center stage, now two button jackets are back in style. One thing that has not changed much over the years is the pocket square. You either wear one or you don't. There are a few things you need to know about pocket squares. First, men who wear them do not call them hankies or handkerchiefs. They are pocket squares. Second, there is a saying among pocket square wearing men and that is "This is for showing, not for blowing!" In other words, don't ask me to borrow my pocket square if you need to blow your nose, find a tissue somewhere. 

A couple of weeks ago my wife and I went to a funeral. As is custom I donned my black suit, white shirt and a simple tie. I did grab a pocket square and slipped it into my left breast pocket on my jacket like I always do. I had no intention of using the pocket square, it is just there for looks. However, about 15 minutes into the funeral I looked over and my wife was crying. She gave me that look that says "you better give me something to wipe my eyes with or there will be trouble!" I thought about it for a minute and realized the smartest thing for me to do was to give her my pocket square and realize that this particular pocket square was for blowing and no longer for showing! When the funeral was over she gently handed me back my pocket square and said thanks. I wish you could have seen the thing. It was thoroughly used up and wrinkled beyond belief! 

I tell you this because if the Lord had not taught me a lesson I probably would have been rather upset at my wife over something as silly as using my square. The lesson was a simple but powerful one. He confronted me on whether he has put me on this Earth for showing or for blowing.  Am I here for the purpose of showing up at church on Sunday mornings for an hour or two, saying that was a nice message and getting back to business as usual which does not require me to "get messy", in other words am I here for showing. Or am I here to allow the Lord to work through me, to show me how I can get my hands dirty for Him, allow Him to use me for blowing. At the end of my life am I going to stand before the Lord nice and clean because I refused to get dirty so to speak or am I going to stand before him used up and worn out and Paul mentions in II Timothy 4: 6-7  

6For I am already being poured out like a drink offering, and the time has come for my departure. 7I have fought the good fight, I have finished the race, I have kept the faith.

I believe the apostle Paul appeared before the Lord worn out, used up, wrinkled, scarred, bruised but full of joy. 

Think about this, are you for showing or for blowing when it comes to living your life for Christ? Are you willing to be used up and worn out for Him? Not out of a sense of trying to earn His favor or try to earn salvation but out of a heart of thanksgiving. Are you willing to be used by God in the same way the person who shared Christ with you did? 

1 comment:

  1. I really enjoyed this entry, and it really forced me to reflect on my own faith. Thanks!