Will You Stand Alone?: A Call to Be the First to Cover
To stand alone is hard, real hard. It’s tough to go against the grain and be different. There is comfort and safety in numbers. No one wants to be stared at, looked down upon, laughed at or left out. No one wants to be the crazy, different person. For many women who are convinced head covering is for today, taking the leap to practice it alone is often the scariest part. “If only there were others” is their cry.
The Lone Dancer
I remember watching a TED talk a few years back about how a movement is started. The speaker played a video of a young man dancing outside by himself. All around him people were relaxing and enjoying the sun and this guy was making a fool of himself by dancing wildly alone. This lone dancer, the speaker pointed out, is a leader. Shortly after, one other guy joins him in dancing and they “brave ridicule” together. Then another joins them, and another. Soon there’s a whole crowd of people dancing like fools together and the speaker points out “as more people jump in, it’s no longer risky”. He continues, “they won’t stand out, they won’t be ridiculed”. The crowd felt comfortable because there was so many other people doing it too. They were the majority. However, that wouldn’t have been the case without the first brave guy. Someone needed to stand up and start and when that person does so, they makes it easier for others to follow.
Being the First
As I hear testimonies of why women both start and stop covering, it’s often connected to what other people are doing at their church.
Desiree Hausam in her testimony shared that what led her to start covering was the fact that a friend of her’s “began to wear a hat in worship”. This led Desiree to re-study the topic with her husband and once convinced they began to practice it too. Similarly, Danica Churchill mentioned in her testimony that “a family began attending our church who came in wearing headcoverings when no one else was practicing it”. That family had to stand alone but it inspired Danica and her husband to search the Scriptures for themselves. Now not only do the Churchill’s practice it, but so do many others in their church including their pastor and his wife.
There are many women in our churches that are convinced head covering is for today, but they’re afraid to stand alone. Here’s how one lady on this site described her dilemma:
“It’s so hard to find a local person that [practices head covering]. If I were to find someone in [my area] that I could do it with, I would do it more easily. I know I need to, but I won’t. It’s just so nerve-wracking and I know that’s to be expected but it still makes me not want to – when I know I need to.”
This is not to say disobedience to this command is justified because of fear, but I want to be sympathetic. How great would it would have been if she didn’t have to stand alone? One person setting the example will by their action encourage others to follow.
Be Like Alice
My hope is that if no one at your church covers (or if very few do) you’ll determine to be like Alice. Alice said on this site that she was “convicted [that head covering should be practiced] a number of years ago but rejected the prompts of [her] conscience for reasons of pride and vanity (not wanting to stick out, fear of what others would think.)” Alice understandably didn’t want to stand alone. The sad consequence though is that she said for “four years I have struggled spiritually because when I truly searched my heart I found this issue again and was unwilling to revisit it”. When we know what we ought to do and don’t, that is sin (James 4:17). Unrepentant sin greatly affects our spiritual growth as Alice attested to. Alice then said “I have not yet covered for a worship service, but I will beginning this weekend. I am greatly afraid of attracting attention, but I now understand that my obedience to God is so much more important than any other consideration, and I am going to make this step.”
The person who stands alone is not only a leader, but a servant. They serve their fellow sisters by doing a hard thing for them. They bear the ridicule (whether perceived or real) and determine that they will be the one seen as “odd” so their fellow sisters don’t have to. They by their obedience make it easier for other women to follow. Not only that but as Desiree and Danica can attest to, they will cause other people to search the Scriptures for themselves to determine if head covering is true.
So I’m asking, will you stand alone? Will you serve your sisters by being the first (or first few) in your church who will cover? If you will, you may find yourself like the lone dancer did, with a crowd around you following your lead.