62. Onesie Woman (Empathy, Lent 3)


Photo from Pixabay

We’ll be talking about class a bit during these pieces, because it is still alive and thriving, despite what you may have been told. Rumours of its demise started by John Major, turned out to be greatly exaggerated. I know that as an educated person, albeit working class, I can be guilty of it myself. A snicker when I see someone wearing a cheap leopard print onesie on their way to the school run or the supermarket. A snide sideways glance when someone buys 40 fags and the Sun “news”paper.” So, let’s use those magic glasses of empathy again….

What I wear is nobody’s business but mine. I’m decent, comfortable and clean. The pattern is the one is all my favourite shops, and the fashionistas wear it too. My friends like it on me. Cheap and cheerful? Well, that’s me, and there’s nothing wrong with that. I’m only going 2 miles in the car, or I’m picking up a pack of bog roll and some dog food. It’s not the sodding Oscars, is it? No, I like to be myself, I like to be like my friends too sometimes. We talk about the soaps and what’s in the papers, so I keep up with it. I have a brain in my head too, and I use it. I sing my little boy to sleep each night after giving him and my fella a nice tea, and I read him a story too. I’m a good mum, a good partner, and a good friend. End of.

Yes. Quite right. We are so daft to separate ourselves and judge one another by external things, by the things that bind us to our groups. None of that is the sum total of us. Besides which, I virtually live in pyjamas and leggings, so I can’t talk. When did we stop saying “salt of the earth” and start saying “scum of the earth”? And wasn’t that down to those very same “news”papers? I would do well to remember that scum is exactly the position Paul says Christians need to hold in society as true apostles. Looking down our noses is for Pharisees (and we all have one of those peering out of our souls, I’m sure!).

“We work hard with our own hands. When we are cursed, we bless; when we are persecuted, we endure it; when we are slandered, we answer kindly. We have become the scum of the earth, the garbage of the world – right up to this moment.” 1 Corinthians 4: 12-13 NIV

text © Keren Dibbens-Wyatt 2017


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