So I brought it to an alteration business. I showed them the sweater and asked if they could put in a zipper.
"We could, but it will look ugly," the seamstress said. "The zipper will show and it might pucker since it is such thick wool."
I told them I loved the sweater, but rarely wore it because it needed to close completely in the front to be warm. They brought out a zipper from the back room. The color matched perfectly.
"Hmmm," said the seamstress. "If it does show the zipper, maybe it won't matter. The color is perfect."
"What will it cost to put in the zipper?"
"I barely ever wear it...so even if it doesn't work..."
"You won't wear it without the zipper. I think maybe it is worth a try."
The sweater would then have cost me a grand total of $27. A wool haute-couture designer sweater. It was a risk worth taking.
"Do it, please."
So here it is. I love it. I immediately put it on for our first really brisk fall day, and went for a walk. Toasty warm. I am so glad I had the zipper put in! And those pockets are big enough for my cell phone!
This was a beautiful, probably expensive sweater that was just sitting in my closet, being beautiful but rarely used. Perhaps Mark Eisen would be horrified to know I had dared alter his haute-couture creation, but I altered it so it was useful. It is possible it is not quite as lovely, but now the purpose for which it was created can be realized.
So was God speaking to me in the saga of the sweater? I think so. I think He is constantly sending messages. He is always speaking in His word, the Bible, but I believe He makes His presence known in the mundane events of life as well. It is one of my great delights in life to figure them out with that in mind.
When we wear the mantle of Christ, we are not just for show. We are not to be admired for our beauty, or our mere presence, but for our purpose in being created. We must be useful in God's kingdom. We must glorify God. We must go out and reach others for Christ. We were never meant to hang lovely, but unused in the closet. This may require some painful alterations at times but if it helps us to be of use, it is worth it.
When I picked up the sweater from the alteration shop, the seamstress beamed at me.
"Look! It really turned out nice!" she said proudly. "And just in time for you to wear in the cold weather!"