Jesus is NOT an accessory

Shirts with crosses on the fabric, that are bejeweled or screened into the t-shirt, on handbags or totes, jackets etc.  now FLIP FLOPS?  seriously, Jesus is not an accessory, people.  A cross is not a fashion style element because fashion by definition is subject to whims and change and seasons and fickle designers. For me Jesus just shouldn’t apply where “fashion” is concerned.  I don’t get it.

I am totally cool with crosses as wall decor.  a friend has an entry hall wall with many crosses, all different styles and it is lovely.  But a shirt that you can throw into the hamper?  Or that will sit in your closet and then you will go through it later , sorting through clothes you don’t wear anymore and come across that cross shirt that was last year’s fashion.  doesn’t seem right to me.  Not reverent enough I guess.

this all occurred to me while waiting at the airport on a flight.  A rather large woman in a long skirt had on flip flops that had a cross in large clear looking “stones” or fake jewels.  And lots of bejeweled other stuff on, way to much bling, what is she covering for or needing to scream out and call attention to?  Really, a flip flop with a cross on the top of the foot.  That was a new one for me.  Again I don’t get it.  I am not a particularly religious person.  spiritual yes but not religious so I am not Polly Pious going all Jesus freaky on this.

I have this same sense of something is “not right” when i go into a church that is one of these multi-use buildings that the boom of mega non-denominational churches brought into the world.  I like pews that are rooted to the floor.  I don’t like a church service in a room that we can move out the chairs or push them into the wall and play basketball ten minutes later.  Somehow I don’t think God would be cool with basketball in the house or the living room. My mom didn’t let us bounce a ball in the house and she is not a holy man.  She is pretty religious though.   God and Jesus for me seem to require a much larger respect, reverence than multi-purpose rooms and silk screened shirts and flip-flops.  Even if i was not a believer and I am not sure I believe in a lot of things but choose to respect others’ rights to believe and to be respectful in the honoring of a religious symbol or deity. If I believed that the flip flop wearing woman was devout somehow it might make it better. Might.  and she may be quite the church lady but I am just not seeing it with cross adorned feet.

I have a lovely red rosary.  I am not Catholic.  The owner of this rosary was and he was a friend who died much too early in my opinion and those that loved him.  At an estate sale at his home after his death, there were several rosary beads there for sale.  As red is my color I had to have this religious artifact that belonged to this person I loved.  I have it in a place where I see it almost everyday and I can think of him and smile.  I know that the cross on it meant something to him.  Like when a nun or priest have their rosaries, it is not for fashion.  I could wear this rosary or carry it but it would not be a fashion statement or accessory.  It would be pregnant with meaning.  I don’t believe Jesus or a cross or God should be taken on and off.  They are with you or they are not.  That doesn’t mean you or I follow the letter of God’s law everyday perfectly but it does mean you know what the cross MEANS.

I wear a simple silver cross from James Avery and a small silver disc that is a mandarin symbol of long life that I got at the Metropolitan Museum of Art gift shop in NYC.  I wear them together on a silver chain and rarely take them off.  I don’t wear it for fashion or to accessorize an outfit.  it is not a statement.  it is personal. Jesus, Buddha, God, Allah whatever the belief and I can respect whatever it is for anyone else but please do not silkscreen it on a tote bag or wear on your shoes because I am just not going to believe that it is anything more than a fashion flavor of the day.  And sometime you are going to put it in a garage sale or give to a charity clothing bin where yesterdays “fashion” for crosses will be on random people who just needed a shirt.


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