Playing Dress Up/ Trading Places

Little kids just love playing dress up.  Princess Buttercup spent many hours dressing up and trying on all the different outfits she received in her dress up trunk when she turned three.   Her twin brother didn’t get into it so much, but eventually did start trying on our shoes, or wearing Daddy’s hat.

Autism has a way of delaying some of the more dramatic childhood play.

Sometimes, siblings with autism need a little help from a big sister!

But, as they get old, they start to get the hang of it… It’s kinda fun to put on someone else’s face!

Time will tell, but I am pretty sure Princess Buttercup is going to have a bit of fun dressing up her baby sister when she arrives. She may even try to dress her up as herself!

Dressing up has always been a favorite activity for children.  It’s so much fun to pretend you are someone else.  But, it’s not just an activity for little children.

Back in Biblical times, Jonathan (King Saul’s son) even traded outfits with David (1 Sam 18), then a shephard boy.  Jonathan took his royal outfit off, and gave it to David to wear.  Jonathan then put on the clothes that David had on–probably smelly from hanging out with the sheep.  It was Jonathans’ way of saying that “I will become what you are, and you will become what I am, with the result that our souls are knit together as one.” (Beth Moore, A Womans Heart, p 60.)  Jonathan wanted David to have everything he had, and to give him that, he took on all that David was.   Sound familiar?  I don’t know how I ever passed this by before when reading this story!

“God made him who had no sin to be sin for us, so that in him we might become the righteousness of God.” 2 Cor 5:21

How wonderful is that?  God plays dress up too–although it isn’t just play… it’s for eternity!  He clothes us with salvation and righteousness from Jesus, while Jesus puts on our clothes, our sin. He gives us a crown of beauty, while Jesus wears a crown of thorns. Thinking about this, how Jesus traded places with us to save us, inspired a poem. It is a sequel to a poem I posted earlier, Garments, Mirrors, and Beauty In that poem I am looking in a mirror, seeing who God has made me to be: I’m dressed in new royal clothes, garments of praise and righteousness, with a crown of beauty on my head. In this new poem, I am still looking in the mirror, but I see past my own reflection, to that of Christ’s. Here it is:

Trading Places

Catching a glimpse of His reflection
I turn around to see
The crown on his head
His blood trickling down
The price that set me free

The scars on his hands
His clothes dirty & torn
For this task He was born

My pain on His face
My sin is His robe
My hurts on Him unfold

I gaze on His face
Amazed at His grace
His passion shining through

Deep love in His eyes
He heard every cry
As my life He bravely rescued

He took it all and healed my soul
He traded places with me
With love ordained from Heaven above
Determined to set me free!

He died on that cross
His life He lost
Paid the ransom due

He rose again
And conquered death
Defeated all sin too

Once and for all
His children He’s saved
Dressed in His clothes, redeemed, washed clean

That we would be

always together

On earth and in Heaven
His Bride for Eternity.

From Rags to Riches

The Bride of Christ: Radiant

In the Autism with a Purpose post, I wrote about how we are all created equally in Gods’ eyes.  Regardless of abilities, we all have the same promises from God and we were all made exactly as he intended to make us for the good purposes he creates us for.

The even better news is that all of us that are a part of the body of Christ (through accepting Jesus as our Savior), the church, are also called the Bride of Christ.

Ephesians 5:25b-27 says “just as Christ loved the church and gave himself up for her to make her holy, cleansing her by the washing with water through the word, and to present her to himself as a radiant church, without stain or wrinkle or any other blemish, but holy and blameless.”

God is making us holy and blameless and radiant.  Pure.  But to see the beauty of this more clearly, we need to contrast it with what we are now.

When people are sick with cancer or another life threatening illness, or when someone has a physical disability they long for their new body they’ll have in heaven, one with out pain, one that will work the way it is supposed to.

I am sure that all of us long to see our children with autism in a body that works right, that doesn’t fight against them.  As perfectly crafted as that body is for their life on earth, and for fulfilling their God-given purposes, it does bring struggles. There are often food and environmental allergies and intolerances, gastrointestinal problems, sensory processing issues, speech and language disorders. Struggles communicating and relating…. all this will be transformed when we are in heaven, and there will be no more sorrow or struggle!  (Revelation 21:3-5)

Though some of us seem more obviously “disabled”, in reality, we are all disabled.  Disabled because of our own sin.  Disabled because of our sinful world.

When we look at our disability of not being holy, of having a sinful nature, of falling short of the glory of God, we are again, all in the same boat.  Sin is like filthy rags:

All of us have become like one who is unclean,
and all our righteous acts are like filthy rags;
we all shrivel up like a leaf,
and like the wind our sins sweep us away.” Isaiah 64:6

For some, seeing how we are but filthy rags is easy. Some of us are very aware of how we fall short of all that God requires of us, of what we have done that harms ourself, others and God.  Of how we have sinned.  Some of us don’t like to look at that side of us.  We’d rather not think about our uncleanliness, our filthy rags.  But we know that all of us are in the same boat.  We have all fallen short of the glory of God. (Rom 3:23)

But God equalized us all–regardless of disability or ability, and those in the church are called His Bride.  We are washed with water through the word, made holy and blameless, radiant.  We go from being imperfect, sinful, wicked people to being transformed and molded by God.  He purifies us, turning us into the holy and blameless church, that Jesus is so passionate for.

Because of Gods’ love for us, and what Jesus did on the cross, we ultimately go from the filthiest rags to the most glamorous riches.

Thinking about the depths of all God has done, and the passion of Jesus for us, brings an overwhelming gratitude for this gift.  This treasure that will last forever.

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