But the Lord said to Samuel, “Do not consider his appearance or his height, for I have rejected him. The Lord does not look at the things people look at. People look at the outward appearance, but the Lord looks at the heart.” – 1 Samuel 16:7
Generally speaking, I am not into clothes. Oh, I can look “put together” if I absolutely have to; but as a rule, I’m a jeans and T-shirt kind of a guy. Sandles in the summer, hiking boots in the winter.
I have one nice suit. Well, it was nice when I bought it for Naomi’s wedding in 2007, and it was still nice for Andrew’s in 2013. I think it still has a few years left.
My sports-coats, on the other hand, are all saggy and wrinkly and worn. Every last one of them predates the suit – by a long shot. So I’m thinking of ditching the lot and buying one decent jacket.
Hence the photo.
For date-night this week, Rebekah and I went to Outback – it was really good – and we perused Stein Mart after dinner. We didn’t buy anything, but it was fun to walk around. I even tried on a few jackets.
So I’ve been thinking: do I have a style? You know, some signature look that’s obviously “me”? And, what makes clothing look good… or look awful?
Of course, I should have been thinking about Rebekah, who can make absolutely any article of clothing look amazing. Everything about how good she looks has to do with her, and everything that can be said about her “style” is the ease with which she carries herself. Her style is imposed on the clothing, not the other way around.
A couple of quotes from Yves Saint-Laurent fit well here:
“The most beautiful makeup of a woman is passion. But cosmetics are easier to buy.”
“Over the years I have learned that what is important in a dress is the woman who is wearing it.”
Rebekah’s passion – about life and following Jesus – is exceptionally beautiful.
That second quote was on the wall in the store, over in the women’s section. I read it when I walked over to show Rebekah what I was wearing.
For a moment I was tempted to buy the jacket. It’s elegant, it’s not over 20 years old, and it goes well with jeans. But – at least for the time being – Yves talked me out of it.
My “style” is living with a sense of confidence, of ease, of purpose, and of comfort with who I am. I may well be a jeans guy, with the occasional addition of a nice jacket, but God looks not at the outward appearance, God looks at the heart.
I’m always one half-step away from either getting it – spiritually – or from listening to other voices. It’s not that God has any opinion one way or the other as to my wardrobe… it’s just that God wants me to understand what is really worth the care and the attention – and that is my heart.
Derek has published seven books in the past decade (you can find them at https://www.amazon.com/Derek-Maul/e/B001JS9WC4), and there’s always something new in the works.
Before becoming a full-time writer, Derek taught public school in Florida for eighteen years, including cutting-edge work with autistic children. He holds bachelor’s degrees in psychology and education from Stetson University and the University of West Florida.
Derek is active in teaching at his church: adult Sunday school, and a men’s Bible study/spiritual formation group. He enjoys the outdoors, traveling, photography, reading, cooking, playing guitar, and golf.