Continuing to process: head coverings are worn in many traditions: signs of marital status, religious devoutness, devotional practice.
They are a choice for some, a matter of law of the land for others.
They can be beautiful, they can be freeing, they can also feel opressive and submissive.
I have worn these at different times in my life and I recognize my freedom of choice.
I remember the first time I wore a headwrap and the disgusted and disturbing conversations that ensued as I was told “haste algo con el pelo porque asi no sales con migo”.
I remember the first time I wore one in my private prayer time and my personal feeling of overwhelming submission to God.
I remember the first time I wore one for a Muslim gathering that I can best describe to my Pentecostal friends as a Revival service and weeping as I dressed for the occassion because I was wearing it for a reason other than my own…and I remember my Christian sister praying with me when I took it off…hugging me tight and joining with me as I processed my feelings. I remember putting it back on after we prayed as I turned even THAT action, the act of putting it back on into a submission to God and God alone. And I remember how GOD showed off as I met God in a totally new environment and I wept again in thanksgiving and rejoicing.
I remember sitting with a gay black man after we had participated in a muslim prayer gathering and talking about our shared (though) different experiences of covering our heads while praying…
I remember the first time I was called out of my name for wearing a manto, I was told that I was no longer a child of God…that I was offending my fellow Christians…I was told that I needed to pray for God’s forgiveness…and that maybe if I was lucky I might be forgiven…
I understand choice. My choice. When I say this is a public stance and I name this a public action I realize that it is a part of my PRIVATE LIFE that I am choosing to do publicly.
With respect, with love, with joy, with tears…in the beginning as in the end and in everything in between…there is God.
Prayer: God give me a heart of prayer…especially during this time of celebration, during this time of unrest, during this time of spirited debate. Let me walk in submission to you. As your servant. Keep loving me, especially when I struggle with words. Amen.