In 2001, Ann Brashares wrote The Sisterhood Of The Traveling Pants. What a cute story!! Four girls stumble upon a pair of well-loved blue jeans in a thrift store - and amazingly enough it fits all of them perfectly: the tall athlete, the curvy tempermental, the willowy beauty, and the small-boned rebel. That it fits all of their vastly different heights and frames AND makes them feel beautiful is no less than a miracle.
In the premier novel and the 3 books that follow, the girls share the pants each summer - mailing them back and forth across the places where they visit. From summer camps to visits with relatives... from digs in Turkey to movie internships, the girls use the pants to keep in touch with each other and keep their friendship connected. And the pants are there through all of their summer experiences: the divorce and remarrying (to other people) of Carmen' s parents, Lena's first love... and loss, Bridget's coping from mistakes she made with her boyfriend, Tibby's grief at the death of her friend, Bailey, plus various other family, social, or school issues. The pants are a constant comfort to each of them.
In the final book, the pants are lost - mirroring the feelings of loss the girls are going though as their individual lives push them farther and farther apart from each other. However, the girls come to realize that the pants were only a symbol of their everlasting friendship, and that the jeans, specifically, didn't have to be physcially present for their friendship to endure.
Now think of our Lord... a one-size-fits-all God who is with us through our hard times and our good times. He's with us when we succeed and when we make mistakes. He will comfort us when we are hurt and celebrate with us when we are happy.
When you meet other Christians, you have something instantly in common. No matter your size or weight or style, your faith links you together.
When Jesus died on the cross, the apostles were "lost" at first. How could they go on? How could their Lord continue if he had been crucified? But like the traveling pants, Jesus lived on in the hearts and minds of those who believed in Him. Tibby, Carmen, Bridget, and Lena discovered that they didn't need the actual pair of pants to remain best friends - even as miles and miles might physically separate them. Likewise, we don't need the physical body of Jesus to be there for us to be covered by His love.
For the girls, believing in the power of the pants was enough.
For Christians, believing in Jesus is a power in and of itself.
If you were to re-read this series of books with the parallel of God & Pants in your mind as you read, I think you'll look at this "humorous, light, fluffy, summer read" in a whole new way. But that's the fun of this blog... finding God in everyday, ordinary places... and what's more "ordinary" than a novel?! :)