I helped Jaana get into her costume for the county fall festival. She went to this event as Cinderella, her old stand-by. Her real costume (for the church festival on the 31st) is Penelope Pitstop. Greg still has to make her car.
We put her turtleneck on (it’s cold), then the dress. We got her fancy socks, then the glass slippers. After we brushed her hair and made her updo, we put on the crown.
Jaana was very particular that each and every piece had to be on and look just right. As soon as everything was in place, her whole persona changed. She became Cinderella. She talked differently, she curtsied, and even did a little sweeping. In her mind, when she clothed herself with Cinderella’s clothes, she simply was Cinderella. Walked, talked and became her.
As I watched all the kids at the festival, I noticed they all did the same thing. Each one put on their costume and became who the clothes said they were.
I started to think about how we are told to do the same thing as children of God. Paul tells us in Ephesians to clothe ourselves — that in order to stand against the devil’s schemes, we need to put on the full armor of God. That when the day of evil comes, we should be armored up, prepared and ready to stand our ground.
We need our dress for the ball:
The belt of truth around our waist.
The breastplate of righteousness in place.
Our feet fitted with the readiness that comes from the gospel of peace.
In addition to the clothes, we need our accessories — our magic wands, if you will:
Our shield of faith, so we can extinguish the flaming arrows of the evil one.
The helmet of salvation, and
The sword of the spirit.
We all know this passage (Eph 6:13-17), have heard it a million times and can quote it in our sleep. But what we miss from it so easily (or what I miss from it so easily), is what my daughter knows — you can’t just wear the costume, you have to become the costume.
When we are told lies, we believe the truth that is belted around us at our core.
When we feel like we are unholy, we puff out the breastplate of righteousness from our chest.
When it seems the storms of life will sweep us off our feet, we stand ready for it, knowing our peace comes from Christ alone.
When the accusations and temptations come, we hold out our shield of faith and say no.
When we fall into sin, we lift our head high that our salvation and eternity are secure.
When it’s time to attack, we wield our sword and proclaim the promises of God.
Putting on our costume should equal transformation. I no longer am Monica; I am a warrior princess going to the ball. Only instead of turning back into my old self at midnight, I get to stay transformed — and dance with the King.
“I tell you the truth, unless you change and become like little children, you will never enter the kingdom of heaven.” (Matt 18:3)