My Sunday Best


… was not hanging in the closet!

My Sunday Best

“I’m not going,” I whined. “I don’t have a thing to wear!” The weekly Sunday ritual had begun.

At that moment, my brother rolled his eyes and said, “You have more clothes than anyone I know. You just never wear them.”

“Stay out of this!” I snapped, looking to my mom for support. “Mom, are you listening to me?”

She just looked at me, and I knew what was coming next. I placed my hands on one of the chairs, preparing myself for the long, boring lecture. But I was wrong. Mom just sat there looking at me.

The silence was about to drive me crazy when she finally spoke. “Julie, there comes a time when you have to decide just why it is you’re going to church. Is it a fashion show, or is it a time to worship the Lord?” When she finished, she stood up and left the room.

What was she trying to do to me, I wondered. No arguing? No lecture? All I wanted was a new dress. Ugh, I felt so guilty.

I walked to my bedroom to try to find something to wear. I opened the closet doors, fixing my eyes on my dresses. I picked up each one, finding an excuse not to wear it.

“I never expected her to run right out and buy me a dress,” I mumbled. “But I only have two dresses that I really like; the rest are ugly.” I was trying to make myself feel better, but it wasn’t working. I felt so selfish and guilty. I began to think of all the people who weren’t as fortunate as I was. I was about ready to cry. How could I be so selfish?

After putting on a dress, I knelt beside my bed to tell the Lord how sorry I was. Then I went to tell my mom the same thing. But when I went upstairs, no one was there. They had already gone to church. Although I could walk over by myself, I couldn’t believe they had actually left me.

I hadn’t been serious about missing church. But when I realized my family had gone without me, I felt even worse as my mom’s words rang in my ears, “There comes a time when you have to decide …”

Mom was right. Every week at church I only cared about what others thought of me, not what the Lord thought. That’s when a familiar scripture came to my mind.

“For the Lord seeth not as man seeth; for man looketh on the outward appearance, but the Lord looketh on the heart” (1 Sam. 16:7).

It was at that moment I decided my Sunday best had nothing to do with my wardrobe. My Sunday best was about the attitude in my heart.

[photo] Photography by Phil Shurtleff