Cast thy burden upon the LORD, and he shall sustain thee: he never shall suffer the righteous to be moved. – Psalm 55:22

*   *   *

Here’s a verse I keep hearing as a chorus from Mendelssohn’s oratorio, Elijah. It continues, “Thy mercy, Lord, is great, and far above the heavens. Let none be made ashamed, that wait upon Thee.”

*   *   *

The matter of being deeply rooted spiritually came up in correspondence with a young woman who was debating the merits of dressing Plain. As I responded at the time, I found “joy and excitement with the revelations thee has been given regarding thy covering. As thee says, the Lord gives us many small steps. Nothing wrong with that! That’s steady progress – in its own way as comforting as big leaps. Thee had no doubt read the appropriate scriptural passages many times. But one thing about Holy Scripture, each time we approach a given text, something new is ready to jump out at us. We can hear something a hundred times before we hear it. It’s like going out and looking at the sky and suddenly one day it’s BLUE! Maybe we haven’t SEEN a blue sky since we first learned the word – maybe we haven’t seen it since we were five years old. Does thee understand how profound this concept is? That’s why Jesus had to keep repeating, Let those who have ears to hear, hear – Eyes, see – Hearts, understand. Everybody had those, didn’t they? Well, if the twelve could be so dense as they often seemed to be, maybe there’s hope for the rest of us.”

“The cynic could retort: ‘Big deal, either she wears a formal covering or she wears hair. She has hair.’

“But that’s dealing with the outward manifestation. What has happened to thee involves the inner person. Without that conviction, thee could wear a formal covering and still not be covered. In discovering that thee needs to be covered – and why – thee is suddenly freed from worrying about the outward manifestation. The outer form will emerge from the inner state.

“A note here: technically, long hair may cover. But I know all too well one who wears hers long and sensuous to entrap and seduce. With a formal covering, there’s no question that thee is a Christian and not afraid to embrace all that follows.”

*   *   *

This was the free Gift of the Father, that the Son of his Bosom should take Flesh upon him, come into the World, and lay down his Life for poor Sinners; for he came from God, and went to God again: So that though he laid down his Life of himself, having Power, and being willing so to suffer, according as ’tis written, yet himself also said, That his Body was prepared of his Father, In which Body he did the Will of him that sent him, Lo, I come to do thy Will, O God! (saith he) for a Body hast thou prepared me. (Elizabeth Bathurst, 1655?-1685)

 

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