(My afternoon was just so cool that it warrants pausing my 31 Days of Imperfection series.)
So this afternoon I went prom dress shopping with 11 ladies. Yes, it was as insane as it might sound. But the coolest part about it all was that these ladies weren’t shopping for their own dresses.
Last week, I was talking with a few of the high school girls at First Trinity about a collection taking place in the area of prom dresses for girls who can’t afford to buy one on their own. They wanted to do something. While a couple of them had a dress to donate from last year, many of them have never been to prom and therefore had nothing to donate. This was where Project Prom Dress was born. The youth began talking with siblings and other young women they knew to gather slightly used dresses. Then, today, we all wore formals to church to advertize a little more. After church we pooled our money and hit the stores to buy some new ones to donate as well. They collected $161 dollars and by hunting the sales, they were able to purchase FIVE dresses.
In between having to explain to people why a group of 12 girls in prom dresses were walking around the mall shopping for prom dresses, I found myself thinking about a passage we looked at a couple weeks ago in Sunday School:
“Therefore, as God’s chosen people, holy and dearly loved, clothe yourselves with compassion, kindness, humility, gentleness and patience. … And over all these virtues put on love, which binds them all together in perfect unity.” (Colossians 3:12, 14)
When these young women got dressed this morning, they didn’t just put on a fancy outfit, the clothed themselves with these attributes.
They gave up a Sunday afternoon and some of their own hard-earned money to make a difference in other girls’ lives. Compassion. Kindness. Humility. They didn’t just grab the first dress they could find. They spent a couple hours looking at all the stores… searching for the best deals to make their money have the most impact… they thought about what they’d want in a prom dress but only so they could make someone ELSE’s day. Gentleness. Patience. They paid attention to every little detail: the color, the length, the size, the shape to find the PERFECT dress. Love. And as we traipsed around the mall all day, their sense of accomplishment and joy grew as they worked together, talking out decisions, and landing on five beautiful dresses that will bring joy to five beautiful women they may never meet. Unity.
As I personally put on a formal this morning and thought of these other women doing the same, I was reminded of this passage from Matthew 25:
[Jesus said,] ‘I needed clothes and you clothed me, I was sick and you looked after me, I was in prison and you came to visit me.’
“Then the righteous will answer him, ‘Lord, when did we see you hungry and feed you, or thirsty and give you something to drink? When did we see you a stranger and invite you in, or needing clothes and clothe you?When did we see you sick or in prison and go to visit you?’
“The King will reply, ‘Truly I tell you, whatever you did for one of the least of these brothers and sisters of mine, you did for me.’
You might even say… we bought Jesus a prom dress today. 🙂