We arrived at our destination while the morning was still young. We met a lovely car rental agent who seemed to be having a couple of issues with her computer As it turns out, she was giving us a complimentary upgrade to a convertible.
We left the lot with the top down with the stereo blasting smooth jazz. The freeway was clear as it whipped my hair in all directions, leaving me at our first stop with miniature dreads pasted to my forehead. Undaunted, I was unwilling to give up feeling of freedom. It didn't take me long to come up with a solution...a scarf. We would look around and find something somewhere. After all, there is no shortage of retail spots in the big city. It wasn't too long before we found one.
It was lacey, edged with fringe, a beautiful neutral tan
It was classy
It was Audrey Hepburn
I have never been completely comfortable fitting in but often I've lacked the boldness to stand out (at least when it comes to fashion). This was my chance. I was away from home. Who was going to know me? The woman driving the convertible with a scarf is just a stranger protecting her hair from the blast of air on the freeways.
So I bought it and I wore it.
Wrapping it around my head
Tucking in my hair
Crossing it in front
Draping it around the back
Letting the fringe cross my forehead
Then I heard it. "Honey, you look exotic. I think your beautiful." I let out a sigh. We headed out, as the whirring sound of the roof tucking itself into its spot, I adjusted my new headpiece in the mirror. I felt bold, confident and unique.
When we arrived at the theme park, I tucked it into my bag as we headed to the gate. After a few mild rides we made our way to a roller coaster. No longer caring what people might think. Ignoring the old messages telling me to blend in and not cause embarrassment by being different, I crossed the beautiful piece of cloth around my neck as we stepped in the line. I can't explain it but I felt released.
I felt free
I embraced what my husband said
I dared to feel beautiful
Then I took one more step...
I kept it on and posed for photos
For two more days, we drove around in the warm weather. My head protected and my heart singing out in victory to a Creator that made me in His image. Completely unique and totally a woman whose worth is in Him, not it what I wear, how I look or even deeper, how I perform. Knowing my value within allows me to express how I feel on the outside without fear of what judgement will do to my soul.
You see, people will always judge us in some way. Whether they express it to us or among themselves, they will judge you. It may be a positive assessment as easy as it will be negative. Either way, when we realize that it doesn't change our value, we are set free to experience the joy that God meant for us to live.
On Sunday night, while sitting at the airport, taking inventory of our belongings, I made a sad discovery. My scarf was missing. I took it off on the way back to the rental car return and my best guess is that it was left in the car. I took it off when we decided that it was too hot to drive with the top down.
It was surprising to me how depressed I started to become. Checking lost and found at the rental company as well as the airport yielded nothing. I began to examine why this piece of cloth had become so important to me. How could a scarf hold meaning?
Then I read this beautiful piece by my friend Sarah Bessey. She tells a story of a brave Burmese refugee names Pwe Loe. A woman who has lived horrors in this life that you and I can't begin to imagine. But Pwe Loe is a woman of hope. Sarah says this about her "Pwe Loe has been weaving since her mother first taught her as a little girl. It is a timeless art; the word for her hill tribe, Karen, means “weaver.” The craft literally defines her people. Pwe Loe weaves the scarves that she makes for Hill Country Hill Tribers line by line, as her mother taught her. She has an artist’s eye—she comes up with new designs that make each scarf uniquely her own."
My God meets me where I am. He speaks to me in my language and loves me in ways I can hold onto. He makes me understand. In 1 Corinthians 1:27 He tells me "But God has chosen the foolish things of the world to put to shame the wise, and God has chosen the weak things of the world to put to shame the things which are mighty;".
Please take few moments to visit Sarah's blog here, read the story to see how you can help and enter to win, you guessed it, a beautiful handwoven scarf.
He used one scarf to change how I saw me and another to deepen how I see Him. He spoke to me where I was, not waiting for me to be ready but readying me to hear from Him.