A Simple Shopping Trip turns into a Revelation
Now, I don’t know if you have ever been to Forever 21, so, I will summarize the experience for you. For starters, think scavenger hunt. Everything is thrown on racks with no rhyme or reason. . . everything is just. . . there. The store, at least the one in Tennessee, is huge. . . at least as big as a small department store. It doesn’t end. You go from room to room, looking at more randomly placed stuff. . . .stuff that, in no way, shape, or form, seems to belong in the same store.
Ripped jeans and lace
There are rose print sweaters, leopard print leggings, dresses that leave little to the imagination, jeans that really should be called leggings, jeans that look like they went through a paper shredder, jeans that look like you got them out of your grandmothers closet, plaid button up shirts, sweaters that look like Wolverine sharpened his claws with them, and the list of clothes that have no correlation once so ever continues. Clothes that look like they’re from Hot Topic, American Eagle, Pac Sun, Gap, Abercrombie, Walmart, Aeropostale, Delia’s, a yard sale, Hollister, and your grandmothers closet, all in one place, all mixed up together.
The store is darkish, music loud and current, the dressing rooms beautiful (though not equipped with doors that lock, or really stay shut, so I avoid them at all costs) and the collection of shoes, jewelry, and makeup is as eclectic as the clothes. All in all, if you have someone to go with, and you have a little bit of time, its a fun place to shop, because there is something for everyone if you take the time to find it.
Now, it was amongst the racks of mutilated, old lady, and flannel clothes that I was looking for a new cardigan, (which I didn’t end up finding, even though I never walk out of the store empty handed 🙂 that I found a tank top that seemed desperately out of place. It was a deep navy, and the front was taken up by a big, red, heart with sun beams peeking out from behind. The words on the heart read “God is my friend”.
Here I was, standing in the midst of skimpily dressed mannequins, flannel lumber jack clothing, clothes that look like they have been hidden in a time capsule since 1930, clothes that were just about as mutilated as a piece of rice paper after being used to wrap a rose bush, clothes that thank God for cute guys at camp, and I find this. Out of place, sticking out like a sore thumb, practically mocking everything that I hold dear.
But the juxtaposition wasn’t lost on me. A perfect metaphor, hanging in the middle of the mall. There was something obviously different about that shirt. It wasn’t like everything else hanging on the racks or laying on the tables or in bins. That shirt was a bit of truth. It was a bit of life, of peace, of light, in a dark world.
That’s what our lives should be like. They should be desperately out of place. They should stick out, be different than everything else around us, and should be noticeable. Blending in is not what we are called to do. We are called to be different. We are called to be crazy.