Mrs. Astors Plush Horse

Easter Sunday I dressed up fancy-like. I felt like Mrs. Astor’s plush horse.

Who on earth is Mrs. Astor, and what is a plush horse? I can recall my mom verbalizing this idiom. Seeking to find the history behind it, I learned Mrs. Astor was a New York socialite. A monied one; her husband, William Backhouse Jr was a successful horse breeder.

The Mrs. was known for her extravagant dinner parties; formal dress always a prerequisite. From there, the story gets a little wild. Rumor has it that she put on a dinner party for animals and they all came adorned in the fancy dress of the day. Needless to say, she looked like a fool.

Since COVID has entered our lives, I have been living on the casual side. On Sunday I felt overdressed. Upon entering the church, I encounter a friend, “Oh my goodness, you have knees!”

I felt like a fool.

But why? I know folks who think church-going is unnecessary. Foolish even, given the whole joint is full of imperfect people. Why not look the part? Put on some fancy clothes so others will think we have life all figured out.

That is where my story takes on a wild side. Imperfection is the very reason church-goers go. We know we don’t have life figured out, but we also know who does. Jesus doesn’t care what clothes we wear; he cares about where our heart is.

Back up.

Maybe he does somewhat care about our wardrobe; knowing some attire draws unsavory people to our circle. Unlike Mrs. Astors dinner parties, there is no mandatory attire in church attendance. Jesus prefers those who don’t put themselves on display. From what I have read in the Good Book, he is especially drawn to  those who don’t have high self-esteem.

One of Jesus’ specialties is transforming a nobody into a person of influence. Nothing can impact others like witnessing a changed life. Better yet, is experiencing a changed life. Rarely do I take sermon notes, but this one hit me between the eyes. The pastor shared, “Sometimes the best way to believe the impossible is to experience the impossible.”

Hmmm, there is food for thought. Easter commemorates the impossible that happened. At the ripe old age of thirty-three, Jesus died for something he had no part of. By the reports I’ve read in the Good Book, he arrived on earth in a supernatural way. He was God’s son, but referred himself as the Son of Man; he chose to be identified as both. Perfect, but human.

There is an oxymoron for you. Not everyone buys into the ‘God is love’ story; a  choice only you can make. Regardless of your stance, Jesus did the impossible and rose from the dead. A change of heart can give you the same experience, rising to a new eternal life. If a perfect living sounds good to you, it’s a heart turned to Jesus that is a prerequisite.

It’s a come as you are party, but I recommend adding a seatbelt to your wardrobe. The places God takes you will be an adventure!

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