A new book by this title ends with this question, “How will you put together the clothing of your life with the wardrobe of Christ?”
It’s a great question to ponder, even if you haven’t read about the ways the language of faith you grew up with, your gender, personality, life stage, family systems, and your broader cultural historical contexts impact the faith you live by.
That’s the kind of stuff that Gareth Brandt thinks about when he writes about the clothing of our lives. Then he adds the impacts of changing culture, of living in a consumerist economy and of facing our own woundedness, thereby making a strong case for an experience clothed spirituality.
While I agree with the case he makes, it does provide one with a full wardrobe of clothing to consider! It’s a wardrobe that can feel heavy, especially if one reads right through the book and tries out the whole wardrobe at once. It would be better to try it on and think about this wardrobe in chunks with others.
And yet, we do live our lives under the influences of all these factors! They are the stuff that makes us into the diverse, fascinating, and frustrating creatures we are. The cover artist illustrated this multiplicity by using a patchwork quilt. While created from many different patches, each quilt is unique and has it’s own beauty and practicality. That’s a helpful image. What kind of quilt has grown up around your soul? Hmm.
From this focus on the self, Gareth culminates his wise study book with a focus on the compassionate and loving clothing of Christ, as described in Colossians 3: 12-17. No matter what kind of quilt we are wrapped up in, we can all grow into greater compassion, humility, patience, forgiveness, love, and peace. These values create a uniting overcoat which has the potential to transform us into signs of God’s reign on earth; signs into which we can all grow with all our individuality.
I recommend this book for small groups who are willing to explore both their spirituality and their experiential wardrobes. But, be warned. You might feel a little naked as you explore this clothing.