Wednesday, June 6, 2012

Break the Tape: These Shirts We Wear

Welcome, friends, for today's edition of Break the Tape.  Essentially, our goal is to identify the lies that repeat themselves over and over again in our minds, break the tape that automatically begins plays when ever we feel we've fallen short, and learn a new song to sing in its place. 
Meet Duane.  When he told me he wanted to do a guest post for this series, he started with "you may not know who I am..." to which I responded, "oh, I know you.  You are the one who told me one day that it was too bad I didn't let dudes link up for Soli Deo Gloria."  It was the beginning of a fun banter back and forth, but what I have really loved is getting to know his heart.  He's deep.  He's authentic.  He lives for Jesus.  (And he's camera-shy, but I'm sure you couldn't tell by his profile picture.)  I can't wait for you to read on...
In some states, if caught driving under the influence of alcohol, a person is required to wear a blazing orange vest and pick up trash in ditches.  On their vest, the words are printed:

I AM A DRUNK DRIVER
Cars pass, people stare.  One night’s bad decisions are worn as clothes for the world to see.  I’m reading this in the newspaper, wrinkles appearing on my forehead, because I think it’s a bit harsh.  Don’t get me wrong.  I think driving drunk needs consequences; serious ones even.  But to have your past mistakes pasted across your back for the sheer purpose of embarrassment, it’s just…
“It’s the same thing you do,” heaven bends low and whispers. God’s guiding hands settle on my shoulders.
I close my eyes.
It’s morning now, this very morning, and I’m playing the day over again in my mind, like a film projected on my eyelids. 
I see myself.  The way I stumbled out of bed, forgetting to tell God good-morning.  Rubbing sleep from my eyes, I step into my jeans.  I’m late for work now and I don’t want to wake my wife with the light so I reach blindly into the drawer, grabbing a t-shirt.  Slipping it over my head as I walk to the bathroom, I flip on the overhead light to brush my teeth and convince snarled hair to lay low. 
Earlier this morning, I never saw it.  But now, in my mind, I notice the words stamped on my wrinkled t-shirt.  They read:
I AM UNNOTICED
I AM FORGOTTEN
I AM UNLOVED
I wear these shirts.  Daily.  In my hurry to rush toward my normal day in my normal life,  I forget that “I am His beloved.” 
Imagine this.  Your alarm rings.  And God smiles. Why? One of His favorite people are waking to the day He created, to the Grace He has given through the night.  And then this.  You rush away, never even nodding in the direction of God or even smiling back. 
It’s sad, really.
Because the truth is you are noticed.  He created you uniquely to be “you” and every hair on your head is counted.  You aren’t forgotten.  In fact, God created a home just for you and someday, He’d like to be your neighbor.  You are loved.  It has been said a scroll, stretched side to side in the heavens, could not contain enough words to describe the love He has for His children.
The shirts. They look tattered now, lying there in the laundry.

I'm sure you are itching to connect with Duane now.  You can find him here:

26 comments :

  1. This is wonderful post and so true! Thank-you for sharing!

    ReplyDelete
  2. Interesting about the drunk drivers and orange vests. I've never heard of that. Seems scarlet letterish. I guess it's an attempt to deter would-be drunk drivers; I wonder if drunk driving is down in those places? If so, it might be worth it for the safety of the innocents.

    No matter what, in Jesus, we're doled out so much mercy and grace when we deserve so much judgment.

    ReplyDelete
  3. Awesome reminder.

    (And I smiled when you mentioned saying "Good morning" to God... It's good to know that other people do it too) :D

    Thanks Duane for sharing and thanks Jen for providing the place to share :)

    ReplyDelete
  4. Good to see you here, Duane...even if you aren't a chick!

    ReplyDelete
  5. LOL Ditto Eileen! Thanks, Jen, for sharing your space with Duane. He's a special young man. :D

    ReplyDelete
  6. I loved this. Thank you, Duane!

    ReplyDelete
  7. I rush toward "normal life" too.
    Thankful that I read this post on this particular morning.
    I need to remember to put on the "Beloved" shirt every single day.
    First thing. :)
    Thanks Duane! :)

    ReplyDelete
  8. Love. And it's funny - I just bought a tee from Wild Olive Tees that says "run the race" which I am wearing right now. (And they have a Beloved one, too. Just sayin'. ;) )

    ReplyDelete
  9. "I am noticed, I am remembered, I am loved."

    that's a great thing to meditate on.

    thank you, Duane/Jenn!

    ReplyDelete
  10. Thanks, Duane, for reminding us all...and thank you, Jen, for sharing the words of this special person with all of us.

    ReplyDelete
  11. Wowzers. Duane knows how to write! What a wonderful image I have now, of God waiting for me to notice him. Thank you, Duane.

    ReplyDelete
  12. Can I just tell you all something? Whisper it to you like it's our secret?

    "You make me smile, new friends. You make me see Jesus today in the world... so thank you, for being like Him."

    Now, I'm off to visit each of your sites and learn a little more about you.

    Blessings,

    Duane Scott

    ReplyDelete
  13. Hey Duane,

    I think I have that same t-shirt...thanks for an encouraging and wonderful write :)

    ReplyDelete
  14. Duane always makes me think and smile...but today, He made me cry. I needed this message as I feel lost in my own inner chaos today. Thanks, you two!! I kinda heart you both.

    ReplyDelete
  15. I love this post....how does he do it, make me want to smile and then cry in the next sentence. Thank you for this wonderful reminder of how God loves us. We need to hear it again and again! Lori

    ReplyDelete
  16. Duane you are such a blessing. God is so alive in your writing!

    ReplyDelete
  17. Duane Scott, Duane Scott!
    I am a fan. Yep, 'tis true. So the problem is that sometimes I grab those shirts right out of the laundry and wear them anyway. Working on it.

    ReplyDelete
  18. great post duane...and we do wear those t shirts often and dont give it a second thought...thanks for bringing the truth brother...

    ReplyDelete
  19. I thought the same, about the "scarlet letter." But yes... we all are branded, aren't we, and the way we brand each other is so heartbreaking. Each of us should be condemned but we live in the beauty of our redeeming Christ. Thank you for the beautiful reminder, for your soul-stirring thoughts.

    ReplyDelete
  20. wow duane. you nailed it. this is awesome. and i'd LOVE to share this on my ED blog sometime... would that be okay (duane AND jen? :))... so often i forget to carefully choose the shirt ... because people will be watching. and they need to know that i know that i am loved. i am seen. i am beautiful. bless you.

    ReplyDelete
  21. It didn't occur to me, but I love the imagery of the scarlet letter as the others have mentioned. Beautiful, Duane, just beautiful, and very convicting. Must go rummage through my closet to find and toss those t-shirts. :-)

    ReplyDelete
  22. Anybody out there itching to meet Duane AND get some new, real t-shirts printed?? Wouldn't it be great to really wear one of the t-shirts that says something like "I am loved".....

    Sue

    ReplyDelete
  23. "Your alarm rings, and God smiles." Thank you, Duane, and Jen.

    Jennifer Dougan
    www.jenniferdougan.com

    Stopping by from Imperfect Prose.

    ReplyDelete
  24. One of His favorite people are waking up. I love that. so glad I read this today! Thanks, Duane. Again, Jen, great series!

    ReplyDelete
  25. Well done, Duane. So fun to see you over here. You are Beloved!

    ReplyDelete
  26. Duane, I was wishing I could pour my Friend a cup of coffee one morning last week :) He sat with me and he enjoyed that I enjoyed asteaming morning brew---His gift to me.

    ReplyDelete

Don't go yet! Leave me a note with your thoughts.