Monday, August 11, 2008

In Search of a Uniform

Today, I put on a uniform. I was a kid's group leader, yes complete with a wacky costume. I woke up grouchy and tired after a late evening shift, poured coffee down my throat, and put on this uniform. Then I smiled, bounced, encouraged, cheered, and laughed.

I took it off before I came home...ah...

Then I slept.

Last night, I wore a different uniform. I went to care for the old and sick. I was again tired, preoccupied with a major task coming up in my life. I grabbed a quick lunch, and put on my uniform. Then I smiled, talked so gently, comforted, rubbed heads, cared for feet, got swore at and spoke gently back, and cared.

I took it off when I came home...ah...

Then I slept.

This afternoon, I have no uniform. No one is watching me. No uniform on my shoulders tells me how I am to act. Just at home, with only my kids watching.

So who am I? How will I act?

I can be smiling and cheering as I lead the kids through our needed chores. I can be gentle and comforting as I prepare them for some big changes ahead. Or I put on my drill sergeant uniform and begin to issue orders to the troops. I am wearing no uniform this afternoon that tells me how to act. Nothing to hide behind and put on and take off at will.

So who will I be?

I wonder if at church we put on our "church uniform". If it goes on with my church clothes and the make up which I may only dig out on this one day a week. That is the day that I smile sweetly at my kids while they wiggle and ask them nicely to "sit still, please, and listen". Any other day, I'd likely bop them on the head and say, "hey, hush now!" When my kids beg me for "another cookie, please, please", I smile so kindly and say, "oh, why not?". The "stop asking when you know the answer already" answer is hidden carefully under my church uniform.

Who am I with God? Do I search for a uniform with Him, too? Or do I take off my uniforms and just face God the way I am? Do I really know who I am under all my uniforms?

He does.


Becky Aguirre said...

I have often been challenged in this, how do I act when no one is watching (in other words, home alone with the kids...). I love the analogy of the 'fits'!

Ellie said...


I find when I am in uniform, not only do I act differently, I think differently. It gives me anonymity, too. I become the uniform. And uniforms carry authority.

Now if we could only come up with a "Mom Uniform" that kids would respond to!

My baby went full time to school this year.... It means I have so much more time when no one is watching.