When I was an elementary school student, the girls in my private school had to wear uniforms as a way to erase social differences. If everyone wore the same outfit, you couldn’t tell whose parents were movie stars and whose were scrambling to pay their kids’ tuition, right?
I suspect most people know that adolescent feeling of yearning to be something or someone else, and going to all sorts of lengths to hide the unhappy, insecure self you really are. The transformation we undergo when we put on a uniform only works to our benefit if the persona we are acquiring is related to who we think we really are.
A uniform adopted as a mode of defense is not an improvement, it’s a disguise. Why do we persist in putting on these disguises? After all, if God knit us together in the womb, surely God knows who’s really behind that mask. Christian may be your uniform, but it is not your disguise.
This message is adapted from “The Plaid Badge of Shame” written by Kaari M. Reierson in the October 2004 issue of Lutheran Woman Today (now Gather) magazine.