Last night I went with my sister and a good friend to 8th Day Coffeehouse for a small group thing from my church. We went a little early so we could hit the farmers market/food truck gathering that downtown Phoenix has on Wednesday evenings. After noshing on some excellent South African curry from one of the food trucks, we made our way to the coffeehouse.
I usually don't talk about my faith here but last night I was lucky enough to have met this adorable married couple that have started a small business selling faith based tee-shirts. The thing about the United States is we have this amazing thing called freedom. Meaning that we are able to speak freely. Other countries, not so lucky. In some countries religious freedom is little more than a myth. Faith Certain governments restrict religious practice. In China this means that individuals are "allowed" to attend government-sanctioned organizations and registered places of worship. The only purpose for this is to control the growth and scope of the activity of religious groups. For those stepping outside one of the five officially sanctioned religious punishment can take the form of varying degrees of harassment, imprisonment, torture, and forced religious conversion. Makes you want to go to those countries, right?
If you are the founders of this tee shirt company it does! While working as missionaries, they realized that they could be deported, their passports confiscated or (even worse) imprisoned. Still feeling impassioned, they created tee shirts that seemed inconspicuous....unless you read the Bible. See this shirt below?
Aww...how cute, right? Ravens flying free from a nest! I love it! And the phrase 'Consider the Ravens', it's just a tee shirt, right?
Wrong. The tee shirt is actually in reference to Luke 12:22-31
"Consider the ravens: They do not sow or reap, they have no storeroom or barn; yet God feeds them. And how much more valuable you are than birds! Who of you by worrying can add a single hour to your life? Since you cannot do this very little thing, why do you worry about the rest? Consider how the wild flowers grow. They do not labor or spin. Yet I tell you, not even Solomon in all his splendor was dressed like one of these. If that is how God clothes the grass of the field, which is here today, and tomorrow is thrown into the fire, how much more will he clothe you—you of little faith!"
It doesn't stop there, if you lift up the bottom of the tee shirt it says "Are you not much more valuable than they?" in both English and Vietnamese. You know why its on the underside of the shirt? So you can wear it up for all to see the verse but flip it down when the police show up.
I bought this one last night. This verse really struck a cord with me. Recently, I have found myself worried and stressed. Fearful about the future and resentful about the past. It was this line that I felt I needed to remember.
Who of you by worrying can add a single hour to your life? Since you cannot do this very little thing, why do you worry about the rest?
I cant change anything. I can't predict the future. All I can do is be present. Every day. Be conscience of me and who I am. And I am precious. I am worthy. I am good.
I want to tell you something and I want you to really hear me....
You are precious, you are worthy and you are good.
You should not worry for what might happen or what has happened.
What you should do is celebrate your wonderfulness.
Rejoice in your uniqueness.
There is one other phase that I want you to remember as you go about your day. As you walk amongst the meanness that seems to permeate the world.
"Are you not much more valuable than they?"
Yes. You are.
These are things that I will remember each day. I am wonderful. I am unique. I am rare. I am valuable. No matter how the world tries to tear me down. No matter how a person tries to hurt my heart. No matter how badly someone tries to make me feel.
I am valuable.
The name of the company is Short and Savage. This is the theme from their business.
SHORT: (adj.) limited; small in extent: the amount of time we have on this earth
SAVAGE: (adj., slang) fierce; intense: the way we spread the Love
I am short. And I will be savage.
If you want to purchase one of their shirts please do so!