In church this week I sat behind a mother with four daughters.  They were very pretty girls.  I am thinking they aged from 13/14 down to about 5/6.  The youngest two were very busy ladies and the littlest knew all of Mom’s buttons and pushed away during the service.  The mom must have been tired by the time they left.  It was the third daughter that caught my eye.

This little girl was a beauty.  While her sisters were pretty and cute she had a little bit of a different air about her.  The oldest two girls had the ‘required’ long straight hair and the littlest had hers in a ponytail/bun atop her head.  The third girl had a nicely cut one length bob and her hair was a bit more blonde than the others.  It was a perfect style for her.  I looked further.

She had on a shiny athletic jacket with white piping on it.  Her skirt was layered ruffle and looked to be more like a tu-tu in fabric.  It was then I noticed the shoes.  She was wearing flip flops.  Now this whole picture really was a statement in and of itself.  Either her mother was rushed and did not care about clothes when it came to her or she came from dance or she chose her outfit carefully.  Since all the other girls and Mom were dressed nicely I am guessing she chose what she was wearing.  Then the shoes became a focal point.

The flip flops were different colors.  How clever!  I believe this too was intentional.  When a child does not like what they are wearing they shy away from notice.  This little girl was very comfortable in her skin.  I thought “Good For You!!!”  I wish I knew more about her.  It is my bet that she is a spitfire of intelligence and very creative. 

Our children both wore shoes of different colors. There was a fad with Chuck Taylor sneakers that you owned a couple of pairs and wore one of each.  Our son had plaid and our daughter had a lime green pair and a pink pair and often wore one of each.  My Grandfather was quite a joker and if he wore mismatched socks would say, “I’ve got  another pair home just like these!”   Aside from the fad what does it take to be original and different?  I think it takes intelligence, creativity and courage and determination.  Both of our children, and I am guessing the blond girl in front of me with two different colored flip flops, have these attributes in spades.

Not to negate the service going on around me in which I really was participating, it occurred to me that Jesus indeed was different as well.  He struck out on a different path and brought the world a new day.  Our priest used the song ‘Day by Day’ from Jesus Christ Superstar in his homily.  On my way out the door I told him he was copying me as I had used the song in a blog three weeks before. 

So how different is our faith?  It tells us to turn the other cheek.  It calls us to be faithful in marriage.  It calls us to respect life.  It calls us to truth.  It calls us to love our enemies.  This was a very different path when Jesus spoke it and today comes up against the more worldly values. People who choose to live their faith may be seen as counter cultural and need determination and courage.  I wonder if Jesus had sandals that were the same color.



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