Skip to main content

My Hoodie of Humility

Paul has an enthusiasm for exploring the world of faith and spiritual well being, which he wishes to share through all that he writes.

Summer has arrived, and a new day is here. It's a good day to put on my hoodie, the one I wear all year. It's my hoodie of compassion, kindness, patience and more. It's my hoodie of humility. Wearing it, I become it. It comforts and empowers. It's a beautiful thing.


"Clothe yourselves with compassion, kindness, humility, gentleness and patience."

- Colossians 3:12 NIV

Comfort Clothes

I have a sweatshirt with a hood. Finely crafted with the comfort of compassion, it feels really good. I feel compassion from above and compassion from within. I see the many opportunities to show compassion and give comfort, as well as the opportunities that were missed or neglected.

Feelings of compassion often arise naturally in response to the hardships and difficulties of others, but I sometimes mistakenly believe that there are those who have no need, or are not worthy, of my compassion. Concerned with my own worries, I may fail to recognize the woes of others, or worse, see them as being trivial or petty. But then I remind myself how difficult it can be to feel compassion for myself when I have little feelings toward others. So, I put on my hoodie, and I look to show compassion even when it does not come quite so naturally. I remind myself that compassion for oneself and for others is the same thing and has the same power. I see from inside my hoodie that it is a part of our nature and expressing it is a part of our purpose as beings of God. Compassion often moves us, but it can also get us moving. It's about helping others while respecting ourselves. It's about understanding; it's about patience. And, of course, it's about kindness.

With a cheerful look and a kind word, or perhaps a bad joke or two, I share the kindness that I feel. I return kindness with kindness, and unkindness with kindness. I show kindness to those who I may otherwise easily become angry with because of some disagreement, not liking much the way they do things, not sharing their point of view. But remembering that I am wearing my kind and compassionate humble hoodie, I see that the person standing in front of me, or any of God's good people is more important than any attitude or viewpoint. Perhaps I just need a little patience.

When I put on my hoodie, I am also putting on patience and gentleness, giving them life in me. I am patient with others, and I am patient with myself. I am patient with situations and tasks. I remind myself that those who are closest to me may be the ones in most need of my patience - and gentleness, but I must also see when I am being the one who is behaving in ways that require the patience of others. Being patient may sometimes mean slowing down a bit. Taking the time to show some kindness and compassion can be refreshing and calming, and it is at these times when I am more likely to recognize when someone is trying to be kind and patient with me, times that I may otherwise have missed. I slow down and listen to what others are saying, finding in their words more reasons to feel compassion. I slow down and I look. I slow down and I listen. I notice things, like the abundance of compassion and kindness that already exists in this world. And by this, I am humbled.


We Are What We Wear

When I practice kindness and compassion, I become kind and caring. And I believe this is to be true for all of us. When we wear it, we become it. We approach people or situations with a little more patience, becoming a bit more forgiving. These are all noble virtues and they, like my hoodie, have a common thread, and that thread is humility.

Humility is a feeling, a deep and true feeling of reverence towards the higher powers from which these things arise. We honor these powers and defer to their wisdom and guidance, while also seeing and feeling them in ourselves. The more power we feel, the more humility we also feel because true humility comes with the absence of arrogance and pride. Humility is often described as lowliness, but it is more like a rising, rising above our need to look for fault in others, rising above our own foibles, like believing we are better or higher than others.

Humility is not lowliness; it is holiness. But it is not of the 'holier than thou' variety because it is seeing also those higher powers in everyone. Humility possesses the holiness of the giving type, even if the only thing we have to give is our compassion, kindness and patience. Putting on our hoodies, coats or jackets of gentleness, we take it easy on ourselves and others. And the more power we feel, the more patient and gentler we become. We look toward those higher powers; we look to God; we look to Christ, and what we see is love.

"And over all these virtues, put on love, which binds them all together in perfect unity."

- Colossians 3:14 NIV

Looking Good

We all know that love is patient and love is kind. When we are in a loving state, we cannot be angry or envious. We are forgiving and thankful. We are thankful for all the kindness and compassion that we receive, and for the power that enables us to keep it all coming, and to give it all away. Love is the thread that makes our hoodies last. It is the thread of unlimited supply. It is the thread that lets our hoodies shine.

Love has the power to let us also shine, shine from inside our hoodies. We put on love and let down our hoods to release this radiance. We let our lights shine - let them shine, let them shine, for as we would not want to hide our lamps under bushels, blankets, beds or baskets, we would not want to hide them beneath our hoods either. We uncover our lamps, letting out the power and the light, the power and the light of God's goodness and love. We shine and we smile. It's a beautiful thing.


© 2014 Paul K Francis

Related Articles