Thursday, July 13, 2006

Jeans That Fit: A metaphor for life and ministry Movement Four


I have an older brother, and at some point during my junior year of high school, I caught on that guys jeans came in custom sizes. You could find pants not only with the right waist size, but in the right length as well. That discovery revolutionized shopping for me, and from that day on, I began to shop in the men’s department at Penney’s. Soon, I had jeans in every shade of denim, and even corduroy too. (An interesting aside here is that I would often put a couple of pairs of jeans on layaway, and pick them up after I had earned enough money to pay the balance. These were men’s jeans, bought in the men’s department, but because I was buying them, I didn’t get 30 days to pick them up as a man might buying these same jeans. I could only leave them on layaway for 2 weeks because I was a woman. No one at Penney’s cared that this was “not fair” and this is certainly a mild version of discrimination, but it left a profound mark on me and served to sensitize me to the other unfairness that abounded (and still abounds to this day) in our culture.)

When you can’t go forward and you can’t go backward and you can’t stay where you are without killing off what is deep and vital in yourself, you are on the edge of creation
(Sue Monk Kidd, The Dance of the Dissident Daughter, San Francisco: Harper, 1996, p. 83)

Sharing Our Own Stories with One Another:

Think of a time in your life when you were looking for a custom or perfect fit. What were you looking for? Did you ever find it?
Briefly describe the situation.
What are some words that best express how you were/are feeling?
Name some things you did that were helpful, unhelpful to you in your search.
How did you know you had found a “perfect fit?”
In what ways has your definition of “perfect fit” changed over the years?
List the life lessons from this experience that could be helpful to you next time- (Oh yes, there will be a next time).
What other questions come to mind and how would you answer those questions?

Take a few minutes to capture in words or pictures the things you have learned about yourself and your current situation, etc. during this sharing time. What has your inner teacher shown you?