I used to think that Christians who said God “spoke to them” were a little nutty. Way too obsessed with their religion, especially when they seemed to think that God cares a rip about their small, everyday decisions. I viewed God as this gigantic, impersonal force that’s so busy dealing with issues like global poverty and keeping world-famous spiritual leaders on message, why on earth would He care about any little thing going on in my insignificant life?
Then, thanks to my sweet husband, I began to consider the possibility that maybe God does, in fact, care about the little things in my life. Really? I slowly began opening up to the idea and, as if to prove the point, God began to let me know His preferences.
Case in point: I have a small, gold necklace that I love, but never wear. I had it specially made by a jeweler years ago, after seeing my friend wear one that she bought on the West Coast. It’s a lunarlingus – a naked woman straddling the face of the moon. I used to wear it a lot, including to work. Most people never noticed it, but those who did would ask me what it was. When I said: “It’s a lunarlingus. It’s a naked woman sitting on the face of the moon!” they would look at me funny, laugh nervously, and change the subject.
I was wearing that necklace in church one day, waiting for the service to begin when out of the blue, I got a strong “nudge” in my mind. It’s hard to explain and it sounds crazy, but in my mind, I heard, “Don’t wear that necklace in my house.” At first, I thought…. is that just my own thinking? Then came, “No, this is Me. Don’t wear that necklace in church.” Yikes. Okay. I took the necklace off and put it in my purse. I don’t think I’ve worn it since. Not to church, not anywhere.
So fast-forward to last week. It was Spirit Week at my gym and Wednesday was “crazy sock” day. I have a pair of socks that I love that have “More Feminism, Less Bullshit” written on them. I really wanted to wear them to yoga class. But on Wednesday morning, I had the strong impression that I shouldn’t wear them. Darn it! I thought, I really want to wear them. God and I went back and forth over this issue. “They’re only socks!” I said. I had told Him before that I wanted to be obedient to Him; now He was asking me to do something incredibly simple and easy and I was arguing. (It’s tough raising stubborn kids, right?)
I have no idea why He didn’t want me to wear the socks. I can’t think He objected to the idea of feminism, since we have so much evidence to the contrary. Women and men were viewed equally in early Christianity, women figured prominently in the early church, and it was a woman who first learned of the resurrection of Jesus and was instructed to go tell the guys. If that doesn’t elevate women to equal status, I’m not sure what does.
But it doesn’t really matter why. When your kids ask why you don’t want them to do something, do you always have a reason that they would deem acceptable and reasonable in their young minds? Hence the birth of the equal parts genius and frustrating “Because I said so!”
Finally, I was ready to get dressed and I said: “If you don’t want me to wear the socks, just say so.”
Silence. (as if He hadn’t been saying so all morning)
I wore the socks.
And for the first time, I was the only person in my yoga class. I’ve been attending yoga classes for years and this was the first time not another soul was there besides the instructor. So nobody saw my cool socks.
On the way home, I realized what had happened. “Fine, go ahead and wear your socks, but I’m going to clear the gym so nobody sees them.”
I had to laugh. Well played, God. Well played.
If you’re still with me and don’t already think I’m nuts, you might be asking: “Oh come on, all this over a silly necklace and a harmless pair of socks? Doesn’t God have better things to do?” Well, as we know, choices — even small ones — have consequences. Obedience starts small, as does faith. And then they grow. My thinking is changing and my faith is growing. I’m learning that my Father does care about the choices I make, and not just about my pornographic necklace or profanity-laced socks, but in all kinds of different things. And I’m appreciating the intimacy, His patience, and His clever sense of humor along the way.