I’m reminded how two persons from the same family culture with similar core values can look at the same picture and see something entirely different, consider words said, and draw different conclusions, or perhaps read something and gather different impressions.

My most recent reminder of this is a person I genuinely love, who was wearing a shirt with a provocative statement on it. It said “Every saint has a past and ever sinner has a future.” I had to give pause, as a Christian, for a moment I almost took offense to that. Should I consider that a criticism or something entirely different. Then I considered it from a biblical perspective, and it is true. Every saint truly does have a past (the sinful aspect of which is forgiven by the grace of Jesus Christ as offered in salvation being accepted). Yes, every saint (saved sinner) has a past. What does it say about somebody when they wear a shirt about that? Admittedly I don’t know. Is it a criticism of a person’s faith, or rather a reminder that in a clamoring world that we all desire equality, understanding, and acceptance in a sometimes inhospitable and inequitable world.

Cynicism or optimism? I choose hope and optimism and although I can remember in one moment in time the number one selling t shirt in America was a shirt with Bart Simpson on it that read “Underachiever and Proud of It.” I celebrate the humor, the non conformity, and the individual freedom of the person who proudly owns that T-shirt. As for me, I simply smile and laugh and simply choose not to wear it.

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