But when you pray, go into your room, close the door and pray to your Father, who is unseen. Then your Father, who sees what is done in secret, will reward you. Matthew 6:6
My recent shopping trip for a dress was dreaded, but actually made enjoyable by the sales clerk who assisted me. I don’t generally deal with sales clerks because I usually shop on clearance racks in discount stores, buying bargains that sometimes I regret upon getting them home. But, I generally keep them and wear them even if I don’t really like them simply because they were a bargain. Even though I purchased off the sales rack, I had a different shopping experience at a high end department store because the clerk was helpful without discriminating against me because of my price range. She listened to my needs and hunted on the sale racks bringing me dresses, not just because they fit my budget, although they did, but that she thought would look good on me. She encouraged me to find my correct size knowing that if a dress fits right, it is more appealing. She showed me how to find things that would fit all over instead of just the direction I could see in the mirror and to look under the arms and at hem lines. The most important advice she gave me was while I was trying on a dress my sister picked for me. It was the kind of dress that usually catches my eye, pretty colors with wild flowers, ruffles across the bodice and a full skirt with a bow at the waist. It even had a tulle underskirt. When I put it on, I felt young and pretty and likely would have bought it even though it was too springlike for a fall wedding. Until the sales clerk shook her head and said, “That dress is wearing you. You need to find a dress that does not overpower you. You want people to see you in a dress, not a dress on you.” Hmm. What an interesting concept. To prove her point, she brought a similar dress, also with a full skirt and tulle underskirt and ruffles. But, this one was a solid color. The ruffles ran up and down instead of across and in the place of a bow, it had a narrow belt. Same style, same lines, just accentuated my body in different ways and didn’t have a meadow running rampant across my derriere. She was right. I bought the dress even though I didn’t need it, but as a reminder of her advice. A lot of people say that they want others to “see Jesus in them.” They try to do it through over the top displays of charity and evangelism. But, Jesus did not seek the limelight. In fact, he warned us to pray in secret so as not to be mistaken for a show off. We can better display Jesus in our lives through quiet acts of compassion that directly serve and make a difference on an individual life. When people see you, they need to see you in Jesus, not the Jesus that you put on for special occasions.