I recently experienced a troubling incidence. It reminded me of something that occurred about two years ago. What happened, you might ask? Well, two years ago, I needed to hastily go to the grocery store to grab a few items. Not really thinking about it, I threw on a headscarf, because it was a bad hair day and drove over to the grocery store that was only a few miles away. Note this is the same grocery store that I have been shopping at for over 10 years.
When I parked the car and got out a group of men in the parking lot began to follow me. Now, that did not concern me because it was broad daylight. But, what did trouble me is when they followed me into the grocery store and began murmuring slurs under their breaths. So, I just picked up my goods, paid for them, and went back to my car. I didn’t think it was the best idea to directly confront the men or make a scene. I just wanted to get into my car and leave as quickly as possible.
I had never had that type of reaction. So, I wondered what was different before realizing it was the fact that I had on a headscarf, something I generally never wore outside of my house. I am a Christian, but I believe the headscarf made the men following me think I was a Muslim or of some Middle Eastern descent. I pondered are we living in an atmosphere wherein a headscarf is something to be feared. If so, we are to be pitied.
God assured me and I was very thankful that although my headscarf served a purpose on a bad hair day; more importantly my covering of “The Armor of God” made all the difference of safety and security for me.
Theme: “Afraid of a Head Scarf…”
Read Scripture: Ephesians 6:10-18 NIV
The Armor of God
“10 Finally, be strong in the Lord and in his mighty power. 11 Put on the full armor of God, so that you can take your stand against the devil’s schemes. 12 For our struggle is not against flesh and blood, but against the rulers, against the authorities, against the powers of this dark world and against the spiritual forces of evil in the heavenly realms. 13 Therefore put on the full armor of God, so that when the day of evil comes, you may be able to stand your ground, and after you have done everything, to stand. 14 Stand firm then, with the belt of truth buckled around your waist, with the breastplate of righteousness in place, 15 and with your feet fitted with the readiness that comes from the gospel of peace. 16 In addition to all this, take up the shield of faith, with which you can extinguish all the flaming arrows of the evil one. 17 Take the helmet of salvation and the sword of the Spirit, which is the word of God. 18 And pray in the Spirit on all occasions with all kinds of prayers and requests. With this in mind, be alert and always keep on praying for all the Lord’s people.”
Well, have things changed after the incidence that occurred about two years ago? The answer is “No!”
I wore a headscarf again recently, but not to the grocery store. I was in another public place and had the company of another person. I noticed everyone was staring at me, but I didn’t think the person I was with had noticed it. But, hours later the person said, “Did you notice how everyone was staring at you?” I said, “Yes, but I thought it was just my imagination that I was being stared at earlier.” The person indicated I should lose the headscarf. It was attracting attention because people thought I was Muslim. Once again, I thought, we are to be pitied as a society when a headscarf is something to be feared.
Let us pray “that a person would not be judged by their appearance, but be accepted in love. Colossians 3:12-14 tells us:
“12 Therefore, as God’s chosen people, holy and dearly loved, clothe yourselves with compassion, kindness, humility, gentleness and patience. 13 Bear with each other and forgive one another if any of you has a grievance against someone. Forgive as the Lord forgave you. 14 And over all these virtues put on love, which binds them all together in perfect unity.”