One of the most common comments I get no matter where in the world is “you remind me of someone/my friend/my relative! You should meet them!” I have never particularly enjoyed this comment as I feel quite boring or ununique. I’d like to think I am one of a kind and stand out from those around me, so when I hear this comment, I get rather discouraged. One of my friends in the majority here gave me a sweet reminder in regards to this comment. She reminded me that having a familiar face brings comfort and trust automatically. This allows me to become much more trustworthy as I am associated with their pleasant and enjoyable memories. These found remembrances give me the privilege to speak quicker into people’s lives.
Between this and the power of the Helper, when visiting this friend of mine and her family, not only was I automatically accepted as a daughter into their home, I was also distinguished as someone unique. I still am perfectly and wonderfully made by and in the image of the Creator of the Universe. The light that shines within me, that only comes from divine intervention and redemption, will always give me the power to stand apart from the world. There is this very unique balance living as a minority religiously (and ethnically though I am very blessed to look as if I belong). The HS is so hidden here, that when He shines, everyone around knows and can see the difference in the individual/group He is at work through.
Going to this home as a foreigner, and as the only woman not covering, I was beyond blessed that I was still respected and not expected to conform. In other areas of the country, I would be obligated to cover my hair, and I would have done so willingly as even believers do so culturally in these areas. I was unware going in of the expectation others would be placing on me. Yet, our sovereign Father opened up this house with great kindness and hospitality and gave me a place to begin developing relationships. The mix of looking familiar yet having distinct differences created this unique blend of comfort and curiosity about this “foreign girl who does not cover her head” rather than judgement. Neighbors and children from the village came to visit and meet me with curious excitement. This was obviously rather awkward and uncomfortable with my limited Arabic as these young girls sat and stared at me, too shy to speak.
My prayer as I continue to develop relationships with this sweet, sweet family and their neighbors is to find the strengths in both the familiar and the unfamiliar. I pray that I can learn how to wisely use what has been called a “face of comfort” (lol only on my good days) and the distinction that comes with having the HS within me. I am redeemed and free from bondage, and that is something they do not have. Please pray with me that this family will be able to see the differences and the love of the Son through our interactions as we get ready to celebrate an Iftar (breaking of the fast) this Ramadan.
So the church throughout all Judea and Galilee and Samaria had peace and was being built up. And walking in the fear of the Lord and in the comfort of the Holy Spirit, it multiplied. - Acts 9:31