Clothed Like the Flowers
When it comes to dressing modestly some things are better left unsaid. An explicit list of dos and don’ts isn’t necessary in polite society where I speak with you here. I want you to know, however, that I am all for it.
Having made modesty an important precedent I now invite you to step further along the path.
Creativity & Clothing is a subject waiting to be explored for Mother Culture. I haven’t met with a more inspiring chapter on clothing than the one written in 1971 by Edith Schaeffer in her book, The Hidden Art of Homemaking. I love it.
I was in the middle of adding “gaudy to the green” in our garden with some bright flowers, and sewing myself a skirt with tiny bright flowers on the fabric – flowers like the ones I had just planted. The coincidence made my winter reading of Edith Schaeffer’s chapter pop up.
Much can be said about clothing and her chapter asks good questions. Here is one point I find particularly intriguing.
Trusting in God’s provision we can be clothed like the flowers.
Edith Schaeffer looks closely at the well-loved verses in Matthew 25-34 where Christ tells us not to worry. Even though food and clothing are two necessary things that require much labor and continuous effort to provide – we are not to make these the end-all of our lives – but seek first the kingdom and trust in God’s provision for our daily needs.
Christ tells us, “Consider the lilies . . . even Solomon in all his glory was not arrayed like one of these . . .” And Mrs. Schaeffer does. She brings to our attention a whole page of flowers by name giving us example after example of amazingly varied color, texture, shape, fragrance and beauty to consider.
She reflects, “If God can so beautifully clothe the flowers of field, which only last a short time and then are cut down, how much more shall He clothe you, . . .” She believes that God’s promise infers more than mere utility, since “He who designed the clothing seen on the flowers is the same One who will provide for us.” Are we not more important than the flowers? Therefore how much more as people with personalities and tastes can we be clothed?
Encouraging us to explore our creatively – an exercise of the imagination – she sees no reason why we cannot dress as beautifully or gracefully as a flower. How that translates into clothing for our family, plain or fancy, is up to us.
This idea kept popping up last month. At that time we received an email. A new batch of photographs of the baby invited us to admire his cuteness. And we did, thoroughly.
Then I saw it. Do you see it? It’s astonishing. The orchid on Sophia’s mantel is a curious color of turquoise and Sophia’s blouse is a similar color. “Clothed like the flowers,” I thought.
And I thought some more. Besides borrowing the colors of flowers, perhaps designers unconsciously borrow from petals, too, while making the ruffle a popular edging. Perhaps women who like flowers will unconsciously wear ruffles.
This blue calico skirt I purchased has a double flounce – a smooth sort of ruffle that isn’t gathered.
Mrs. Schaeffer’s chapter inspired me pull up a chair to my sewing machine. I chose a shorter skirt pattern for the summer than my usual ankle length – one with a flounce.
Aiming to find a fabric that would match a red blouse, I settled on one with only touches of red so as not to add too much red to the outfit. The fabric has tiny red flowers.
“How strange. They look like the patch of dianthus I’ve just planted,” I noticed.
Sadly, a month later I concluded that dianthus doesn’t thrive on the west wall of our house. It was too late to transplant it elsewhere.
Its withering also reminds me of Matthew 6.
We needn’t picture flowers in our fabrics to be clothed like the flowers. We needn’t wear ruffles or flounces, either. But I hope these ideas on Creativity & Clothing will inspire your Mother Culture in a way that is pleasing and personally rewarding to you. You are of more value than the flowers.
Explanation of Photographs of Flowers:
Red Echinacea at the side entrance
Candytuft at the edge of the patio
Daylily loving a sunny spot
Scarlet bee balm near the back kitchen door
Roadside field of chicory across a cow pasture nearby
Dianthus thriving a short time then wilting (normally hardy.)
Thank you Suzanne for your beautifully written review of my Mother Culture CD at Blueberry Cottage. I appreciate how descriptive you took the time to be. Your posts on Blueberry Cottage are sometimes courageously informative and other times charming.
Comments are Welcome,