Red. Flannel. Comfortable.
And it was mine. My jacket. My favorite jacket. My precious.
Don’t act like you don’t have one (or your husband, brother, father; it’s definitely a guy thing).
It was my favorite, most comfortable jacket; arguably the most comfortable jacket ever made.
This jacket was the ultimate – regardless of the weather or formality of the occasion – this was the jacket for me.
Sure, it was torn a little.
Maybe a lot.
Maybe the left sleeve was about to fall off. So what?
I’m still not sure what happened. All I know is I went to bed (probably wearing it) with my jacket torn, but when I woke up my favorite jacket was miraculously healed and whole. In the night a patch was applied to the torn shoulder. Someone knew how much I loved that jacket and – instead of replacing it or discreetly tossing it away – they took time to repair it for me… And so I got years more use from my jacket.
(Ungrateful Author’s Note: I didn’t think there was anything wrong with the jacket. Thank you. )
Like Father, Like Son.
A lion. A tiger. A bear. A deer. A Tyrannosaurus Rex. Most often a horse.
My son has been anything but a normal boy. When he imagines himself as an animal he does not and will not stop until he sees fit. Luckily he always sees fit before nature calls.
There are a few unpleasant side effects to his wild imagination, though: awkward moments in the grocery store, church, mall, any public space; trying to learn the language of a 2-year-old T-Rex, 6-year-old lion, 11-year-old horse; and (most often) pants with holes worn into both knees.
Luckily we have pretty much outgrown the awkward moments in public and have overcome the language barriers. The holes prove to be more difficult to conquer.
The silver lining in this is that the boy has his favorite pair of jeans that he likes to play in. These jeans are precious. They’re magical. They turn my son into a horse.
Just the other night he was cantering around the ottoman when I heard him neigh, “Aww man. These are my favorite jeans…” I look up to see him examining the frayed edges along fresh holes and his bony white knee caps shining through, “Mom, can you replace these patches?”
Yes. Replace the patches. Don’t give the pants away. Don’t throw away the jeans. Don’t get rid of them.
They come in different shapes and sizes.
Some blend in with the garment and are inconspicuous.
Some stand out and cannot be hid.
Some are cool. Some are gaudy.
Some are proud of their patches.
Some are embarrassed by them.
Usually there is a warning before a patch is needed.
There’s a fringe where there didn’t used to be.
If you ignore it, it doesn’t go away.
If you play with it, it gets worse.
It becomes a small hole. Things start to get lost in the fray.
One thread here.
One thread there.
This one is barely hanging on.
Patches are necessities in my world.
Because sometimes we get snagged by something sharp that tears a hole in our sleeves.
Because sometimes we pretend to be something we’re not.
Because we get worn out.
Because of neglect.
I have stopped talking about clothes now.
I’m talking about relationships. Marriages. Hearts.
Why not just toss them away?
Because some things are comfortable.
Because some things are valuable.
Because some things are precious.
What is fraying in your world?
What relationship is coming apart?
What has gotten snagged? Torn? Neglected?
Who cares how it looks? Cool or uncool? Accepted or not?
If it’s precious – don’t toss it away.
Maybe you don’t see anything wrong with the tear.
It’s worth patching up. There is a Friend that will take care of it for you.
Maybe you have a cheap replacement option.
Patch up what you have already invested in.
There are things being lost in the fray.
It’s not worth ignoring or playing around with it.
You’ll just make the problem bigger.
The key is to get a patch bigger than your problem…
And I know ONE.