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Rite of passage parenting: Hanger humps

My name is Walker, and I have hanger humps. I’ve been suffering from them for years. They are embarrassing, debilitating and downright awkward.

I got up this morning as happy as could be. During the night, we had much-needed rain, and as I went outside to get the morning paper, I was greeted by the crisp air of fall.

One of the things about living in Oklahoma is that we have distinct seasons. Our summers are sometimes unbearably hot, and the winters sometimes get so cold that even the Alaskans complain. But, with each season, comes a change of wardrobe. Just this week, I changed from fall to winter attire. The only difference? I get out my sweaters.

During the winter months, I wear a sweater almost every day. I have all sorts: Thanksgiving sweaters, Christmas sweaters, casual sweaters and fancy sweaters. I guess you can call me the Forrest Gump of the sweater world. Some of my sweaters are in a drawer, and others are hung in a closet.

This morning, I got dressed for work, and my wife told me I needed to change. Yes, my clothing has to pass inspection every morning before I leave the house. I must confess: I’m a lousy dresser. I know many people who are fastidious about their wardrobe, but I’m not one of them. If it fits, I wear it. This philosophy helps simplify my life. But, this morning, my combination wasn’t right for the weather, and I was instructed to put on a sweater. So, I got one out of the closet, put it on and stood in front of the mirror. There on top of my shoulders were two little pyramids, one protruding from each shoulder as tall and as proud as could be … the dreaded hanger humps. The more I stared, the bigger they seemed. I tried pushing them down, but they popped right back up. I tried pulling them out, but again they popped up. I decided to act like the humps were part of the sweater design and tell people I had a new and cool kind of sweater.

I might have pulled that off 30 years ago, but at my age, the only thing that looks cool is that I still have some hair. My wife, seeing my dilemma, told me to follow her. We went to her sewing room, where she pulled out a bottle of wrinkle remover and pointed it at me. I had a moment of panic, unsure if she was trying to get rid of me or help me. If she hit me, would I melt like the wicked witch in the Wizard of Oz? She gave each of the hanger humps a couple of shots, and they were gone. I mean gone, no more to be seen. I was truly impressed. As I write this, I keep glancing at my shoulders, waiting for the humps to return.

But, what I don’t understand is that I have been living with hanger humps for years. Why didn’t she pull out the spray before? All this time, the answer for my hanger hump problem has been down the hallway, and I lived in ignorance. Hanger humps, stuck zippers, missing buttons and lots of other problems can be fixed in my wife’s sewing room.

But there are problems much worse than hanger humps. How about guilt, shame, depression, lack of faith or unconfessed sin? If I were a betting man, I would bet there are those who are reading this who have been carrying around some of these things for a long time.

I don’t have a spray to put on your problems, but I have something better. It is God’s Holy Word, the Bible. The Word of God applied to one life can bring freedom.

“So Jesus said to the Jews who had believed Him, ‘If you abide in My word, you are truly My disciples and you will know the truth, and the truth will set you free’” (John 3:31, 32 ESV).

If you need hope, it will give you hope. Look up Jer. 29:11. If you need forgiveness of sin, read 1 John 1:9. If you need peace, read Col. 3:15. If you need strength, read Ps. 46:1. If you suffer from depression, read Deut. 31:8. And even if you suffer from hanger humps, I have a Scripture verse for you: 1 Sam. 16:7. God’s Word wants to come and dwell within your life so you can be free and free indeed.

Now if you’re suffering from hanger humps, come on over to our house. My wife has a nifty spray she can use. But for everything else, go to God’s Word. And that, my friend is more than just nifty. It has the power to change your life.

 

Walker Moore

Author: Walker Moore

View more articles by Walker Moore.

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