Devotions from Tri-City ELCA Pastors – Pastor Tia of Christ the King, September 24, 2020

Pastor Tia’s Devotion for 09-24-2020:

Dear gifted Saints! 

Just before my 8thbirthday, my auntie took me shopping. I still remember it vividly because it was nothing that usually happened in my life. Nobody had taken me shopping for clothes before. At least not that I could remember. My parents just bought us what we needed. Clothes weren’t considered a personal choice for kids. They were a necessity, mostly hand-me-downs or sewed at home by my mom. Unfortunately, as a kid I really didn’t appreciate handmade clothes. Like, really not. 

So, that one day my aunt decided to take me shopping. Just me. We went into the city and entered a shop. And then she told me to choose an undershirt. I remember standing in front of the shelves, looking at the different shirts. All of them were white. Some had spaghetti straps, others had embroidery or cute prints of slightly pink flowers. I also looked at the price tags. I couldn’t believe that my aunt was going to spend a fair amount of money for me on an undershirt no one would ever get to see. Except for me, my parents and maybe some kids in the dressing room. 

After deep considerations I picked a white shirt with embroidered straps and a cute eyelet embroidery in the form of a flower in the front. My aunt paid for it, wrapped it and gave it to me to open on my birthday. To this day it is the prettiest undershirt I have ever owned. Partly, because at a certain age I just stopped wearing those. And partly, because this was one of the best gifts I have ever received. 

Not because I love undershirts so much or because I had even asked for one back then. I don’t believe it was part of my wish list. But because it felt so ridiculously lavish for me to spend more money than necessary on something so seemingly unimportant. 

And yet, to me it became important. I remember wearing this shirt, feeling invisibly special and pretty and proud and loved. Somebody had spent more money than necessary on something only I could really value. That felt like a true validation. And it taught me to be generous and lavish in my own giving. As it is said in Luke 6,38: “Give, and it will be given to you.” 

And I want to add: Receive and you will want to give. That’s how we are wired. That’s what God knows. That’s why he gave us the most lavish gift ever in sending his son to be our everything. And often, we will wear our faith like an undershirt. Hidden to most people. And yet, it makes us feel special, loved, proud, validated. Because we are just that. Loved. Wishing you a lavishly day full of love, Pr Tia! 

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