Dave has a tshirt. I bought it for him a couple of Christmases ago. Dave loves to tell people about Jesus, more than anything. Awkwardness doesn’t really bother him. He’s kind, but isn’t really troubled by the idea that someone may not want to have that conversation. He’s discovered that most people do really want to have that conversation, because he isn’t trying to sell Jesus, he’s trying to share Jesus.
Who Jesus is…
What Jesus in his own life looks like…
What Jesus has been and done and given…
That’s how my husband rolls. I thought the tshirt might speak to his heart.
Two years ago that Christmas morn, he opened his Christmas package and cocked his head to the side. “Well this shirt is weird.” was his only response. This from the man who frequently wears a shirt that says, “Jesus loves this happy camper” from an Alaskan mission trip. I was disappointed, but you know, you win some you lose some.
Dave reluctantly pulled the shirt out of the drawer at some point and started wearing it. Wearing it like crazy. I inquired of this shirt change of heart and Dave’s response surprised me,
“People love this shirt. This shirt does weird things.”
Um…can you tell me more, dearest?
Dave declared this tshirt “The Best Tshirt Ever.” After more conversation, I began to understand Dave’s tshirt love. Dave’s tshirt had a simple phrase on the front. It was in in very large letters, but wouldn’t be classified as bold. The tshirt said simply, taking up the entirety of the front side –
BLESS THE LORD O MY SOUL
It’s just a Bible verse, just a song of praise, poured out by a grateful psalmist. This shirt causes one of three reactions, according to Dave. People almost always notice it, but each response is a little bit different.
- “I love your shirt.” This statement is commonly followed by the person sharing how Jesus Christ has changed their life, has worked in some way, has been faithful, has shown grace, has been merciful.
- People read it. Out loud. It’s really kind of weird and awkward. Dave’s standing at the coffee shop register and random patrons in line alongside us will individually read the shirt out loud, even though someone else read it right before them. It’s like people can’t help themselves but absolutely must say it. Maybe even the rocks will cry out (Luke 19:40) has more applications than we thought.
- Spontaneous conversation. Often when people are compelled to read the shirt out loud, or even when they aren’t, people will ask us where the shirt is from. Enter conversation. If all I need is a tshirt to get people talking about Jesus, I’m pretty pumped.
- Spontaneous worship. People start singing when they see the shirt. My favorite was when the Walmart sample lady busted into praise unabashedly in front of several customers awaiting warm cookie samples. Awesome.
Can you see why this might be the best tshirt ever? Our clothes may not save souls, only Jesus saves, but they do say something. I believe I will be finding more shirts that say Jesus.
Bless the Lord, O my soul,
and all that is within me,
bless his holy name!
Bless the Lord, O my soul,
and forget not all his benefits,
who forgives all your iniquity,
who heals all your diseases,
who redeems your life from the pit,
who crowns you with steadfast love and mercy,
who satisfies you with good
so that your youth is renewed like the eagle’s.