Friday, March 22, 2013

How Many Hats Do You Wear?

1 Corinthians 9:22-23
To the weak, I became weak to win the weak.  I have become all things to all people so that by all possible means I might save some.  I do all this for the sake of the gospel, that I may share in its blessings.

My husband, Danny, and I so look forward to Sunday evenings when my daughter and son-in-law, Sarah and John, along with granddaughter, Virginia Rose, can join us for dinner.  We all enjoy the food and fellowship, and especially love being entertained by Virginia's growing vocabulary, interests, and good, old-fashioned hugs she freely shares.

While she still finds joy in playing with her rock collection, lining them up in rows and even learning to count, Virginia, it seems, is always looking for more ways to delight herself and us at the same time.  She loves to roar at us like a tiger, laughing heartily at our "frightened" response.  She grabs the broom, pretending to sweep, then lunges it at our feet to make us flee fearfully from the encroaching "monster."  Oh, how she giggles merrily each time the broom meets our retreating shoes!  How we rejoice in her blossoming ingenuity!

This past Sunday takes a different turn.  Virginia notices the hat which Giovanni, Danny's son, is wearing from work.

"Haa," she says, pointing at Giovanni's head.  "Haa!  Haa!"

"You want to play with Gammie's hats?"  I ask, scrambling to the closet where I keep a substantial collection.  I grab three.  Giovanni high-tails it to his closet, too, from whence he produces tons of caps for Virginia's enjoyment.

We all take turns trading off caps, but Virginia loves it best when we pile them on her head.  A veritable mountain of thoughts and wishes, desires and dreams . . .

These images bring back memories, too, of a beloved book I read as a child entitled Caps for Sale, which you can see and hear on YouTube.  If you have young children or grandchildren, by all means, share this story with them.  They will be enchanted!

At this point, you may be wondering, What does all this hat stuff have to do with today's reading from 1 Corinthians?  In my opinion?  Everything!

We all wear many hats in our daily lives, don't we?  Mother, father, son, daughter, caregiver, breadwinner, nurse, doctor, lawyer, Indian chief . . . You get the picture.  Without losing our sense of self, we serve others in a vast variety of ways, meeting their needs where they are.  We become, empathetically speaking, "all things to all people."

St. Paul knew that to attract as many as possible to the Good News of Christ Jesus, he had to wear many hats.  One size or type would not be a fit for everyone he met.  All those with whom he wished to share the Gospel.  He had to meet them where they were, wearing a hat with which they could identify.

And, seeing as Paul's letters are still with us after 2,000 years, I'd say he delivered the message perfectly.


What are some of the hats you wear every day?

Will you pray with me?
Thank You, Father, for St. Paul and all the many hats he wore in order to spread the Good News of salvation through Your Son, Jesus Christ.  As we spread Your Word to others, may we meet them where they are in love and understanding, that they will choose to follow You.  Amen.


  1. Well I am daughter, a friend, a sister, a writer, a dreamer, a singer, a dancer ..oh the list is sooooo long... loved this post Martha, this is pushing me to write one of my own on these lines :)

    P.S: Its a joy to look at those cute pictures.

    1. Thanks so much for visiting, Me! You've been missed!
      And, yes, you do wear many hats, my friend. I think we all do when we stop to think about it . . .
      Glad you enjoyed the photos, too!
      Blessings and love!

  2. As you said, we all wear a variety of hats every day.
    We must play a variety of different rolls when the curtain comes up.
    Problems arise when we discover the difficulty of changing roles -- sometimes with less than a moment's notice.
    At the end of the day, when we take our bows, can we also take pride in our success of not allowing one role to adversely effect others?
    Another thought-provoking blog, Martha!

    1. Thanks so much for stopping by, Chip; glad you enjoyed the post today!
      Yes, the changing of those hats, sometimes at a moment's notice, isn't easy, but change, we must! I like your comment about not allowing one role to adversely affect another. Something to think about . . .
      Blessings, my friend!

  3. AMEN!!! Yes, we need to meet people where they are at and wear different hats. We have to constantly remind ourselves, that we were once where they were. Sometimes I have to catch myself, when I'm talking to someone, who isn't familiar with the Christian language. haha

    Such adorable pictures and what a BEAUTIFUL name Virginia Rose. ;)

    1. Thanks so much for visiting, Lisa Marie!
      You bring up such a good point - we may be speaking "Christianese" to one another and confusing an uninitiated listener who truly needs to hear the Good News in a way in which he or she can get the message. Guess we need to do a daily hat check. :)
      Glad you enjoyed to photos of my little one, too.
      Blessings and love!

  4. Hi Martha:
    Funny you bring the "hat" analogy up. I have a friend who lives here in Madison, Connecticut just down the street from ny home and he's known me for about twenty years, through all of my jobs:
    --Computer (tech Consultant)
    --Bookseller (All four at the same time at one time)

    Whenever he'd see me around town, he'd smile and say:
    "So, Chris, which hat are you wearing today?"

    Sometimes I'd answer:
    "all four at various stages today."

    1. Chris, I love this anecdote you have shared here! It reminds me that we often do wear more than one hat at a time, just as the photos convey, and that it's okay to do so.
      Thanks so much for coming by today!
      Blessings, my friend!

  5. I do wear many hats Martha, son - brother, friend, colleague, blogger and more. people know me in different settings but under all the different hats is the same divine person:) Hats and circumstances may change but there's the same person underneath it all.

    1. So true, Vishnu! There is the same (divine) person underneath all those varied hats. We do mean different things to different people.
      Thanks so much for stopping by!
      Blessings to you!

  6. I wear many hats, Martha. In lieu with the Holy Week, I'd like to think that I am also wearing the hat of a sinner, which is something I'd like to wear less often. I, however, am humbled by the fact that even though I wear the hat of a sinner, I would always be wearing the hat of being God's child. :-)

    And um, can I adopt Virginia Rose?? Seeing her photos never fail to put a smile on my face. Such a beautiful baby. :-)

    God bless, Martha! <3 :-)

    1. Irene, I am right there with you in wearing the hat of a sinner. If anything, this precious Holy Week reminds us of why Christ died for us - so we could all be His children! What hope and salvation we have in His sacrifice!
      And, your comments about Virginia Rose are so appreciated, my dear. So glad she make you smile! She does the same for me. :)
      Blessings and love!

  7. I watched Caps for Sale~ it was very entertaining! Thanks.

    I usually wear the hat of an aunt and a mother to kids~ I love doing that. But apart from that, I also wear the hat of a daughter and friend, a colleague who listens.

    I pray with you ~ may the hats we wear be our own true selves participating in the spread of Good News to everyone.

    Lots of love!

    1. So glad you enjoyed watching Caps for Sale - such a cute story!
      It sounds like you wear many hats, Melissa, and wear them well. As long as we remember who we are in God's eyes, we can't go wrong!
      Thanks so much for visiting and commenting, my friend!
      Love and blessings!


Memories Made

  Children's children are a crown to the aged, and parents are the pride of their children. ~Proverbs 17:6 Can you guess what our last s...