Monday, May 14, 2012

imelda, the excessive vs. mary, the extravagant

dear emily,

you probably are too young to have heard of dear imelda, and you are
certainly not in danger of her compulsion.    she collected shoes the way
my kids used to collect tadpoles.  her shoe excess was a vivid indictment
against her self indulgent life style.   she owned 2,700 pairs!

my kids just wanted to watch tadpoles turn into frogs.

when i first heard of her exorbitance, i made a promise to myself that i
would never accumulate 'stuff'.   this may seem like a small vow, but
there have been a few temptations.  can one really have too much

i devised the simplest formula to never hoard anything besides tadpoles:
if an item comes into my house, a similar item goes out.   easy, peasy.

here is an example:   i am perusing the shoe department at bergdorf's,
drooling over the louboutins*.   if i decide that i NEED a pair, then all
i have to do is give away a pair from my closet.   i usually imagine the
rattiest running shoes.

not all excesses are evil.   can we pour too much love or kindess on
each other?  will we ever be able to express our devotion and gratitude
to the Lord?  one of my heroes is mary, who "took about a pint of pure
nard, an expensive perfume; she poured it on Jesus' feet and wiped His
feet with her hair.   and the house was filled with the fragrance of the
perfume."  john 12:3


*as a colorful illustration only.   my conscience would never let me buy