Wednesday, August 4, 2010

Modesty, Mostly

I'm not modest.

By nature, that is.

I went through puberty in a skin tight competitive swim suit. I stripped down to my birthday suit every night after practice before I jumped into a hooded sweatshirt and flannel pajama pants. There were quick changes in theatre where four or five people were taking off my clothes and replacing them with others. Then I was shoved back on stage hoping I'd put my trust in the right friends, hoping someone had remembered to have me step through a new costume. My formative years left no room for modesty.

In fact, in elementary school I was known to run around my room completely bare. At night. With the light on. And the curtains open. My parents became privy to this--how I'm not entirely sure--and put a stop to it. Thankfully.

Any modesty that I have now is because I know its importance. I've taught myself. I've grown up and I reason that not everyone wants to see the pastor's wife naked. I've read 1 Timothy.

1 Timothy 2:9-10 "I also want women to dress modestly, with decency and propriety, not with braided hair or gold or pearls or expensive clothes, but with good deeds, appropriate for women who profess to worship God."

Thankfully my hair is too short to braid, I own no pearls, and we live paycheck to paycheck which hardly allows for expensive clothing. In all honesty however, I know that the meat of this verse lies in the beginning and the end. I don't wear a burqa to cover myself but I try to dress appropriately, with a fair amount of modesty. I don't generally parade around in the buff. I've learned to be decent.

Last week, at our church's Vacation Bible School, I played a role in the ongoing skits. The only army pants--which I needed--that I owned were little boy's size 16. There's a perfectly reasonable explanation for that. I promise. Needless to say, once my part was over I didn't really want to be seen in army pants. Especially little boy's army pants. I went into one of the rooms off of our stage to change.

I stripped down to my skivvies and, just as I began to step into my shorts the door knob turned. Panicked that there was a fifty percent chance the intruder was male I nearly threw my back out contorting into a pretzel shape. I quickly shrunk into the back corner and twisted my body so that I was somewhat covering my underwear while draping my arm over my torso. All the while shouting, "I'm changing! I'm changing!" in the most feminine voice I could muster. Probably I sounded like a man pretending to be a woman. I realized later that I'd succeeded in covering approximately one third of my underwear and virtually none of my chest. They're smaller than they were before nourishing an infant for ten months with them but you try covering a whole bra with one forearm.

The intruder was oblivious to my cries so I nearly fell over a chair in my attempt to get behind it. So committed I was to not having a conversation with a male member of my church that went a little something like this, "We'll never speak of this. And also, forget anything you just saw."

So there I was, crumpled into a mostly naked ball with limbs, pain rippling through my lower back for the sheer speed with which I'd accomplished covering myself up nothing, wondering which of my friends was about to see more of their pastor's wife than they ever imagined, when my husband walked in.

"It's just me," he said.

"A little warning would have been nice," replied the naked pretzel.


  1. Haha, that just left such a great image in my mind.

  2. You are a funny, funny woman.
    Thanks for the candor.

  3. phew, that man almost saw you totally naked!

    :) ~Shannon

  4. What a well written story. Thanks for the laugh.

  5. Once again, I am rolling on the floor! Not unlike it sounds like you pretty much were! :)