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Rebecca walks into the shoe store. She needs church shoes. She’s uncomfortable; the first salesman to see her is male. He walks toward her. She immediately does a mental check of her outfit to make sure it’s modest: blouse not form-fitting, buttoned all the way up; long, full skirt that doesn’t show her hips or legs (and looks classically feminine in today’s rebelliously androgynous culture); navy tights that don’t draw attention to her ankles; sensible shoes that don’t, um, do whatever worldly shoes do with feet. She’s appropriately modest, so why is he smiling at her? Should she smile back? Christians should always wear a joyful smile, but girls shouldn’t smile at boys because it could be taken as flirtatious. Besides, this young man’s hair is too long and she can see the edge of a tattoo peeking out from under his shirt sleeve, so to smile at him might make him think she approves of his rebellious nature.
Another clerk catches her eye – a female! Rebecca quickly turns to her, before the Male can speak to her. But this proves a mistake as well. Although this girl is dressed professionally, her blouse is too tight – clearly showing her figure – and she has on pants. Plus her shoes are open-toed, showing off a toe-ring. She has three piercings in each ear, clearly visible because of her short haircut. She flashes a smile at the Male and says something to him that indicates they have a casual, even flirtatious, relationship.
“Can I help you?” the female clerk asks Rebecca brightly.
Rebecca feels panicky. The music blaring over the PA system is a bouncy rock song about dancing and… well, the song calls it “love” but it’s not talking about real pure “agape” love, but ungodly sex. Rebecca is horrified to recognize the song because it’s such a stumbling block for her. Her lower nature loves the bouncy music and the idea of two people in love, even though they obviously violate God’s principles in their relationship. With the rock music pounding in her ears, she suddenly doubts her ability to discern God’s will in this situation. She fears that her soul is in jeopardy. She knows that she shouldn’t be here.
“No, there’s nothing you can do for me,” she says abruptly, and walks out of the store. Once outside, she realizes she still doesn’t have church shoes. But she didn’t compromise her standards. She was a light of Christ to two people who were obviously lost in sin. She can count the lack of shoes as a sacrifice for holiness.
Wait till she tells everybody else at church. Maybe she’ll get to give her testimony next Sunday!
Sara Roberts Jones spent six years in ATI. She attended the Counseling Seminar, Excel 2, taught in several Children's Institutes, attended CharacterFirst! and desktop publishing, worked "on staff" at the Oklahoma TC, and sang "loo loo loo" in the Knoxville choir for five consecutive summers. Now married with four kids, her life is better than she ever imagined it would be.