I have completed day number 2 of my hijab journey! (To read an overview of my Lenten endeavor, my original post is here) Last night my children woke up multiple times during the night and that made for one tired mama this morning…and today is Thursday, which meant a bunch of mom’s from church were coming to my house @ 9am. All of this to say that I didn’t leave my house until 4pm to go with my family to Sam’s Club. I honestly thought it would be totally uneventful and that I would have nothing to report…but I had such a nice surprise!
First of all, I asked my husband Jeff if he noticed anything out of the ordinary. He said that most people stared, and then when he would make eye contact with them they would quickly avert their gaze. He saw two women stare at us, look away, and then look back, just staring at our children with a look of confusion…as if to ask, “What’s up with those two pale-skinned, blond haired kids sitting in the cart of that Muslim couple?” Two of these things are not like the others 🙂
After awhile we were walking around kind of aimlessly when all of a sudden I saw a woman (wearing hijab) eagerly waving at me. I squealed with delight because I realized it was my friend Mona, the principal from the local Islamic school! We walked toward each other and quickly embraced. I said, “I didn’t think I would actually see someone I knew tonight.” We started talking a bit more and she told me that her daughter’s hijab party was this weekend and that’s why she was at Sam’s Club. She had invited 40 people over for the celebration and was starting to realize how much preparation it was going to take (Just an FYI, a hijab party is a “coming of age” party for a Muslim girl). As we were leaving I saw two more Muslim women in a check out aisle whom I didn’t recognize, but one of them looked right at me and said hello. It felt welcoming.
I often wonder, when the “uncovered” me, says hello to a covered woman in a store, if they think it is strange. It is strange. Most people everywhere don’t say hi to strangers, but I think it is something that God has called us to as followers of Jesus. I hope that I gain more courage throughout the Lenten season to have entire conversations with Muslim women whom I don’t know, like the two I saw tonight. That when they say hello to me, because they assume I am part of the same community as them, I can actually tell them about my commitment for Lent, and that it can break down barriers between our worlds.