God put it in front of my eyes

** current status

My wife has been away for a while — a fortnight perhaps — looking after her mother, who had had a fall and is recovering. It wasn’t supposed to be a fortnight, but these things have to be given the time they take.

Back here at the homestead our son is anxious — because of the age he is, because of his school work, worried about his grandmother, worried about his mother (who is working hard). I focus on keeping the household ticking over — food, cleaning, bedtimes — somewhat to the detriment of my work — which creates anxieties of its own. And then my wife calls every evening to “offload” after a day’s caring (and a day’s well-wishers and fecklessness from sister).

I have been going to the office some days, and even travelling locally for business. I think every one of those days I’ve slipped into panties and bra first thing. A rush of relief as I feel their magic wrap around me, and a background signal of comfort and reassurance through the day. That must sound so pathetic.

I would take my bra off at the office or in a meeting with a client, or at home. I have stayed away one night (son is 16) and gloriously panties and bra were first thing on in morning and last thing off at night.

One day late last week I mislaid my office key. Not elsewhere in the building, not in an “other” bag/coat/pocket, not in the wash.

An extra thing to do; an extra quantum of anxiety; a reminder of how anxious and frazzled I already was; a guilty prod that my dressing up probably makes me even more frazzled and absent-minded.

** meanwhile

When I learnt my wife would be away I ordered Thomas Keating’s “Open Heart, Open Mind” (recommended by Lisa) and I’ve been dipping into that (it is very rich); I’ve found time to post the review of “Wearing God”; I’ve started reading Lisa Notes and Messy Marriage again; I’ve finally joined Facebook, so I can join a reading group (run by Beth) on 1 Samuel.

** the cross

With a new week coming up, I remembered the cross necklace I bought (and haven’t worn for ages). I thought about wearing it under my shirt to work. Monday morning in the shower I started to feel a tension: bra and panties OR cross necklace. To wear both seemed very wrong and even mad.

As the seconds ticked away towards getting dressed the tension and the internal debate mounted. Not just intellectual debate but emotional tension and real uncertainty. I get the chance to dress up so rarely, I can wear the cross anytime (completely unobtrusive under my shirt). I didn’t want to set up a “panties = bad, cross = good” thing. I managed to talk myself into into by talking about making a decision and sticking to it, self-control, self-discipline: can I rely on myself to make a decision and carry it out, or am I always at the mercy of erupting desires?

It’s surprising what a wrench it was, not to step into my beloved “Nude Rose” bra & panties, but my silver cross necklace was the first thing on that morning.

The magic relief feeling I get when I put on this little cross is exactly the same as when I put on my nice lingerie. Exactly. It was when the lady put it on me in the cathedral shop. It is every time. The similarity between the effects is the main reason I think it’s appropriate to go into my dressing up here. It recalls Shannon Eldridge’s remarks in the Fantasy Fallacy that sexual fantasies and “perversions” are kind of inarticulate or confused yearnings after Jesus’ truer love.

Once the deed had been done I feel quite calm and happy and at peace.

** bus stop

Mooching about at the bus stop (there’s a 15 minute window during which the bus might appear) my eyes dropped to the grass by the side of the road. There, just where my eyes fell, was my office key. I couldn’t help laughing. I couldn’t help thinking God had put it there, right in front of my eyes, as a little thank you.

That was yesterday. My little silver cross necklace was first thing on today as well.

Leave a comment


  1. Glad you are reading Lisa Notes and joining Beth at Messy Marriage. The are two of my favorite writers. Blessings as we walk to the cross this week.

    • Dear Mary

      Thank you very much for your comment and your kind words (and welcome to my blog!).

      Lisa Notes and Messy Marriage are excellent blogs and I am finding their guidance very helpful.



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