It is simple to say that I have been on a journey. This is a journey which took many years, one which has changed me. Tonight, I read an article about why women throughout the ages have worn head coverings in church, which caused me much reflection. I didn't always wear "headgear" and as a child it was not scarves but instead hats. Hats that were the rage at the time, and in fact, there were hat shops where we purchased the "in thing" that would compliment our outfits, ranging in colors and shape. It was always about how we looked--the "style". If you didn't have a hat in church, the nuns required you to cover your head with a tissue or handkerchief. Modern Church members no longer have an emphasis on such attire, at least in America.
One may be hard pressed to even find a hat shop today, but "how we look" has not changed, with many still frequenting beauty salons for colorings and styles that are becoming, with no intent to cover our heads, not even during a storm, let alone a church service. It is almost rare in church to see someone attending to what was considered an apostolic tradition, that is: woman covering their heads with opaque cloth. Today's woman will not do it. I used to think that way but now, would not feel right without my head covering. It felt really odd at first, and it took all the courage that I could muster at the time.
The difference, for most women, is that they simply are not ready. It took me a while before I understood that in wearing a head garment, I was doing that which is necessary for the salvation of my soul, and am in obedience to what has been divinely ordered, structured and placed.
Our role models have left us with perfect examples of what is expected, beginning with the Theotokos, as well as other woman of the bible, whose characters exemptlify modesty, humility, patience, love for others and prayerfulness--gentleness, peacefulness and steadfastness. Ready to do His will, not theirs.
We see that angel Gabriel was awed by the beauty of Mary the Mother of God, because of her purity. Many women today, because of the society we live in, have missed the mark and are blind-sighted. They would find headcovering to be ridiculous--probably wouldn't come to church if forced to wear a head garment and that's okay--they aren't ready. Maybe, they'll never reach the spiritual maturity to understand. It is not ours to judge.
It takes courage to be different. Courage that does not come from us, but is through grace. Let me set the tone then--you enter into a spiritual realm of unseen beauty, and through obedience, you prepare, get your lamp ready so to speak. The atmosphere is calm and quiet and in peace, your candle is lit. You are His creation, and humbling yourself like the ointment bearer, in tears, are thankful for whatever has changed you, from what you were and would have continued to become, without divine intervention.
Your life now is one filled with light, the earthly blinders have been removed, and there you stand spiritually in front of the throne, not like the tree barren and naked, because it's leaves have fallen, exposing and dead, as in the fall, but (covered) leafy, protected, and connected. In your state of humilty, obedient, constantly asking for mercy and forgiveness, you have become right minded. You share in all the promises and hope to be the receipient of all good things. Not because you are deserving, but because you are willing to say "yes" to God, whose love for you is immeasurable, eternally.