Tuesday, October 6, 2009
Sunday Best Has Evolved Into a Hot Mess
This past Sunday I went to a christening at a local church. The interior was rich in religious motifs with biblical references showcasing lush colored stained glass windows. Frescoes on the ceiling beautifully depicted Christ, the Virgin Mary, along with angels and apostles. While it wasn't as vast as St. Peter's Basilica, it was comparable in its grandeur.
Despite this ministerial magnificence, I felt overdressed as opposed to underdressed in my simple, black knee-length dress with 3/4 sleeves and princess seams. The majority of the congregation, with the exception of the friends and family of the little guest of honor, were dressed in everything from swishy, nylon track pants, to camouflage printed sweats, and well-worn running sneakers.
Back in my day, before I became a heathen and went to church every Sunday, men donned suits and ties and women wore dresses or skirts. Now I don't believe that God cares what we wear when we worship Him, but I think we should. Some people looked like they'd just rolled out of bed. In fact, one woman I was sitting behind had bed head—literally. There was a big old section of her hair that had clearly been flattened out by her pillow. She didn't even run a comb through her head.
I understand the house of the Lord is meant to be all-inclusive. No one should ever be made to feel unworthy of being there. I know at times church can feel like a fashion show for folks. Some worshipers are more concerned with who's wearing what than the message in the sermon of the day. My point is that no one would ever go to a job interview in track pants or partying at the club in dirty, faded jeans.
I know it's 2009 and not everyone needs to wear a floral dress with an Easter bonnet, but can we pretend like we're someplace special? Church or temple or the mosque are not the same as a tailgate party at Giants Stadium or running to the bodega for some Ding-Dongs. If we're going to do the casual thing at our respective places of worship, can we at least be neat about it? Whether it's jeans and sneakers or dresses and pumps, let's make sure there are no wrinkles or stains. Forget about God saving the queen, I pray that He can save us from hotmessness.