My Facebook newsfeed now seems to catch every article written on the topic of minimalism, (never mind that I’ve taught it to do that).
While I once thought minimalist referred to a sparse and unadorned furniture style, it turns out that, according to my Facebook curated sources, minimalism encompasses an entire lifestyle of choosing to live with less.
Before going any further with this, I recognize the privilege that’s tied to the phrase “choosing to live with less”–those with privileged lifestyles can afford to choose minimalist lifestyles; those without privilege are forced to live with less out of necessity.
[bctt tweet=”People say it’s possible to live a season with a basic wardrobe of 10 to 33 favorite pieces.” username=”womenoftheelca”]
Of the minimalism articles I’ve read during these 25-something days of Lent, the ones that speak to me most are the ones about minimalist wardrobes. Can you imagine–people maintain it’s possible to live an entire season with a basic wardrobe of 10 to 33 favorite pieces of clothing (33 including jewelry and shoes).
These articles have stitched themselves into my head and heart and have pulled at the hem of my fairly undisciplined Lenten self.
These minimalist wardrobe experts maintain that the purpose of dressing with less is to simplify life’s choices so there’s more time for self-care and, ultimately, for the care of others. I look in my overstuffed closet of clothes that mostly mean nothing to me (and which, when worn, mostly don’t deliver the inward sparkle I crave), and I think of the time wasted each day looking for something to wear in all of that plenty.
Could I, would I, dare trust that my idea of clothing security could change to be less about the abundance of garments and more about the abundance of simple choices that free me for another way of living?
I think of the passage in Colossians that says “… clothe yourselves with compassion, kindness, humility, meekness, and patience. Above all, clothe yourselves with love, which binds everything together in perfect harmony. And let the peace of Christ rule in your hearts…” (Colossians 3:12, 14-15).
[bctt tweet=”My call this Lenten season is about abandoning my longing for lifeless objects on hangers. ” username=”womenoftheelca”]
And so I contemplate that my call this Lenten season is about abandoning my longing and pride for expendable, lifeless objects on hangers. Instead, I long to free and offer myself in ways that endure–caring for my neighbor, working for justice and peace, boldly acting on my faith in Jesus Christ.
I expect that Lent will be well past by the time I finally unload the weight of the clothes and misconceptions hanging in my closet, but I hope by the time of triennial gathering in July I can travel light and give a good report.
I wish the same for you as you journey through these remaining days of Lent and beyond. May you be renewed and mobilized to act boldly on your faith in Jesus Christ.
Becky Shurson, of Yucaipa, Calif., is serving as secretary of the churchwide women’s organization for the 2014-2017 triennium.