Random and not so random musings from a 5th generation NE Missourian who became a 1st generation Episcopalian. Let the good times roll!

MadPriest had a great blurb some days back where a couple of RC archdioceses in the Philippines suddenly have decided to get wound up about a "dress code". The short version is "no hootchie mama clothes, no shorts, no sandals."

Oh, c'mon. Give me a break. My short answer is, "Jesus wore sandals."

Now, for the long answer...

Here is what I figure. God knows what is inside you. What you cover it with is meaningless. If you like to dress up in your Sunday best for church, if it makes you feel respectful towards God, by all means, have at it. Knock yourself out. But if being casual makes you feel closer to God, if you like the familiarity of it all, hey, shorts and sandals are fine.

I am personally one of the eternally horribly underdressed people of the world. 90% of the time, when I'm not at work, you are going to see me in jeans and a sweatshirt, or shorts and a T-shirt. Then there's my penchant for cowboy boots. My mother likes to say that my first pair of shoes other than those ugly white high-topped baby shoes was a pair of cowboy boots, and I've been wearing them ever since. I can show you reams of childhood pictures of me wearing them.

When I worked in a large midwestern academic medical center that will remain nameless, I used to catch holy hell for wearing cowboy boots to work. I was told it was "unprofessional" and "hickish". Now, we are not talking scuffed up Dingos with livestock dung on the soles, we are talking moderately expensive Tony Lamas and Ariats here.

The minute I moved back to Kirksville, one of the great joys of my life was wearing cowboy boots to work and having NO ONE NOTICE. Ahhhh. It should not surprise you that I wear them to church. I make a point to acolyte or do my stint as lector in them. It is because they make me feel whole...and shouldn't going to church be all about wanting to feel whole?

The summary image I have for all this is what a really good RC friend of mine told me about his stint in the Philippines in the Peace Corps. He still has vivid memories, 40+ years later, of attending Mass in rural villages there, where at the rail, anything might show up...little kids, near-naked people walking in off the street, dogs, even monkeys on the rail...and he said he never felt the presence of the Lord more than at those Eucharistic moments. Dorothy, it ain't the shoes!



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Kirksville, Missouri, United States
I'm a longtime area resident of that quirky and wonderful place called Kirksville, MO and am wondering what God has hiding round the next corner in my life.

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