Little David goes up to the front line, lunch pail in hand. Everyone around him is dressed like a soldier. They have khaki pants with big pockets to put their grenades and candy bars in. They have helmets with Go-pro cameras and night vision goggles. They have riffles that shoot around corners. And when David volunteers to face Goliath, the soldiers offer to trade clothes and let him wear their cool stuff.
“This isn’t me.”
It’s a significant moment in the story and a place that we have all been in. People are always insisting that we dress a certain way, that we protect ourselves by putting on the things that they depend upon, that we forsake our integrity and conform to the approach they have for facing life’s problems.
The context of the David and Goliath story is the I Samuel plot; the people have begged for a king, because every other nation has put on some type of political overclass to solve their selfdefense problems. In putting on what everyone else is wearing, Israel has denied its relationship with God. The people have forgotten who they are.
David tells how he was most himself when he wore shepherd’s clothes and faced the lion and the bear with a simple sling shot. In casual dress, David knew that he depended upon God. This is who he was. He wasn’t about to face his current problems dressed-up as someone he wasn’t.
One of the roles of faith in our lives is to remind ourselves of who we are and who we are not. We are people of great compassion. We are not people who build walls. We are people who worship. We are not those who forget the Christ who has saved us.