I recent re-discovered my favorite t-shirt. It was buried in my closet, and I probably had not pulled it out in over a year. I think it got tossed to the bottom of the pile because I thought maybe it was nearing the point of no return. But, when I pulled it out a couple weeks ago, I was pleasantly surprised to discover that the pit stains were not nearly as prominent as I had thought. The holes were tinier and fewer than I remembered. It definitely used to be a darker shade, but it seems to have at least faded evenly. And, to be honest, I bought this t-shirt at a thrift store over 10 years ago. It has been a pretty good investment for a handful of change.
I am not sure why I love this t-shirt so much. It is red, which has never been one of my favorite colors (though it has grown on me). It says "Treble Clefs" on it, which I can only assume is some sort of geeky musical group of which I have never heard (and would never have been invited to join).
But, when I pulled out that t-shirt, I was so excited to put it on. It is comfortable. It fits well. It feels like home and memories and fun.
And, I was suddenly amazed how much comfort and joy I found in an old, faded t-shirt. It was familiar, and sometimes I feel like familiarity is something I spend a lot of time searching for. I live in a land that, even after nearly three years, is still so unfamiliar. I have adapted to many aspects of life in Cambodia. I have learned how to function, and function quite well most of the time. I have come to accept some of the things I was initially shocked/saddened/appalled/confused by, but they are still not familiar.
T-shirts are familiar. But, I must remember not to cling to tightly to that familiarity. I do not want familiarity to dictate the path I take in life. I do not want to avoid something unfamiliar or difficult simply because I do not yet know how to navigate it. God knows. God is familiar. He is the same yesterday, today, and forever. He is the same in Indiana or Cambodia or anywhere else I may find myself.
And, I don't think He minds if I take my used-to-be-a-much-brighter-shade-of-red t-shirt with me...at least until the holes grow to an unreasonable size or the pit stains become embarrassingly obvious...