I was mortified! During a recent worship service I was sitting in my usual front-row seat. I had my legs crossed so that my left ankle was resting on my right knee. That posture made my sock very plain to see. I was casually looking downward for a few moments and rather distractedly noted the color and pattern of the sock. I looked back up and then a split second later—bam!—something registered in the back of my mind. Was that the same color and pattern of sock that was on my other foot? I looked down, not so distractedly now, and saw that, yes, both socks were black, but, no, they didn‘t have the same pattern. Yikes! I was wearing a pair of mismatched socks! Both were black with a gray pattern woven in. But there was a problem. The patterns were not the same! In fact, one had a subtle pattern but the pattern of the other was big and broad … nothing subtle there. Oh no!
Can you guess what my next thought was? No, it wasn‘t, “So what! Big deal!” Later on I did try to convince myself, not too successfully, that it was no big deal. But what jumped to the forefront of my thinking right away was, “I hope no one sees this!” No more crossing my legs that day! Keep those socks out of plain sight!
“I hope no one sees.” Isn‘t that sad? That statement reeks of fear … fear of what people will think, fear of what people might say, fear of rejection. It‘s a sentence concerned with appearances, with everything looking proper. (Not that there is any particular virtue in flagrantly disregarding social customs!) It is a sentiment that truly should be absent among God‘s people.
God‘s vision for His people, the Body of Christ, goes far in the opposite direction, away from concealment toward transparency. And not just transparency with a faux pas like mismatched socks, but also with issues as serious as sin. Hear God‘s stunning word through James:
“Therefore confess your sins to each other and pray for each other so that you may be healed. The prayer of a righteous man is powerful and effective.” (James 5:16)