What am I advertising?

Published 3:32 pm Wednesday, February 28, 2024

My dad had (has?) a strict policy when it comes to buying shirts. If it’s not blue or brown, he doesn’t want it.

No, wait. That’s the wrong policy. Plus there are probably a few other colors, but that’s not the point, either.

If it’s a shirt that has a company’s logo on it, I would be shocked to see Dad wearing it.

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He’d say something like, “Why would I pay someone to give them free advertising?”

I get it. But I have lots of shirts that have a company’s logo on it, or a band or musician, etc.

I have shirts that “advertise” hot sauce, brands, ministries, etc. In fact, the shirt I’m wearing as I write this is a camouflage shirt with the Brookhaven Animal Rescue League logo on it. I paid for it when we adopted our amazing American Staffordshire Terrier mix. His name is Bosch, and he is the bestest boy, yes, he is!

(Sorry, I have to say it that way. I’m contractually obligated, and Bosch might read this. Good thing he’s not so good at reading things inside parentheses.)

The shirt looks good, I think (everything goes with camo), is comfortable, and the funds went to help support a group I care very much about. So, yes, I paid to advertise for them. And I talk about them a lot, so there’s that, too.

I have hats with logos on them, too. For instance, I have a couple of Fire Dept. Coffee caps — one of my favorite brands, and I love the designs; caps for my favorite sports teams — Florida State Seminoles and the Boston Bruins; and a cap from Chunky, Mississippi’s own Lazy Acres Farm Fun. The farm is located near the homes of my parents and my sister and her family, and has employed my nieces in the past. The cap has the tree farm’s name and an old red pickup on it.

But the shirts I probably get the most comments on are ones that give a hint to my beliefs. “Jesus Saves, Bro.” “God first, family second, then the Seminoles.” “Defend the Orphans.” “Y’all need Jesus.”

Any shirt with a cool design or an interesting logo or saying can get a conversation going. But the ones that spark questions — even derision — from others can result in God conversations.

“What are you talking about, ‘Defend the orphans’?” I was asked one day. “Are you talking about the kids at the border?”

“Yes,” I answered, “and no. It’s a reminder from the Bible to help those who cannot help themselves — like orphans, widows, the poor, etc. Anyone who is mistreated.”

“Hmm,” was the woman’s reply, and she turned away.

Short conversation, but it could have led to more, like more thinking on her part, or on mine.

But what matters more than what’s written on my shirts or hats is what’s written on my heart, on my actions, on my life, and in my words. What do those things advertise?

News editor Brett Campbell can be reached at brett.campbell@dailyleader.com.