October 24, 2012

A Good Visit

When my husband introduced me to Jessica, I was sweaty and still recovering from our children’s swim class prep—the trek in with our wheeled duffel bag, the rapid change of attire in a humid locker room, the dash for forgotten goggles. Pulling myself together with a short prayer, I smiled and dove into the topic.

Jessica wanted to know about Adventism. A well-intentioned member had listed several area churches Jessica could visit, giving her a rundown of what to expect. Jessica was wondering why the member had warned her about visiting a conservative church—unless she went sans jewelry. Jessica didn’t want to be ostracized if she visited, and she didn’t want to offend anyone. Jessica also asked if her outfit would be appropriate for an after-church function. She was wearing denim shorts, breezy summer blouse—and dangling earrings.

Thinking about damage control, I said that the Adventist Church follows the Bible. I shared a couple of texts about adornment (Num. 31:50 and 1 Peter 3:3, 4). I said I was surprised by the way the person she spoke with categorized things—I acknowledged that some churches are more conservative than others, but assured her she wouldn’t be barred from entering if she happened to leave her studs in.

“God loves us no matter what,” I said. “When we love Him back, we want to have a relationship with Him. We want to please Him, and be like Him, right?” Jessica nodded.

“What a person is wearing says something about their relationship with Him, and what they value in life.” I paraphrased Philippians 4:8 and Proverbs 3:6, then continued: “I think about it this way: How comfortable would I be if Jesus were actually walking right next to me?”

With classes ending soon, Jessica and I chatted a few more minutes. I was impressed by her knowledge of our church and the Bible—and still worried. I hope

I did my Savior proud. And I hope Jessica has a good visit. 

Kimberly Luste Maran is young adult editor for the Adventist Review. This article was published October 25, 2012.