Saturday, May 20, 2017

Veils Removed

“And all of us have had that veil removed so that we can be mirrors that brightly reflect the glory of the Lord…” II Corinthians 3:18a

Back in Afghanistan Irshad wanted to go to school as a young teenager but in order to be safe she had to wear a burqa coming and going to school. For awhile she wore it and then in frustration because she couldn’t see properly refused to wear it and consequently was kept home from school. Then she’d get frustrated because she wanted to go to school so she resigned herself to go back to wearing it again. The burqa veil for Irshad was valued for its protection from harassing men but also hated because she couldn’t see clearly or walk unobstructed. Irshad really had no choice but to wear it.

My friend, Irshad is living in my homeland now and enjoying the right and freedom to see and to be seen but she still wears a veil. Really? Yes, but a different kind of veil; not a social one but a spiritual veil which is invisible. The niqab and burqa have long gone but she has chosen to keep the spiritual veil. “I was born a Muslim and will die a Muslim,” Irshad declared to me. The invisible spiritual veil restricts her from seeing the glory of God fully. It doesn’t keep God from seeing her but it keeps her from seeing God in His full glory. She doesn’t know how much she is missing. Oh, that we would be as concerned about spiritual veils as we are about social veils. We mustn’t stop at just being satisfied when a social veil has been removed.

I am so happy to have my invisible spiritual veil removed by the Spirit of God. One day my four year old granddaughter was looking at our wedding photo. I asked her if she knew who the woman was. She replied, “Jesus?” Guess she thought someone wearing a white ‘robe’ must be Jesus. That sounded cute, but really, wouldn’t it be awesome for us to actually be mistaken for Jesus? Oh, that the glory of Jesus Christ would reflect powerfully from our faces to our dear Muslim friends. This is a powerful ministry anyone of us can be engaged in.

Sometimes I think a divine reflection is more powerful than any words we might say. Never underestimate the spiritual impact that can be made in a Muslim woman's heart simply by her looking at you at your next party or in the classroom. I asked Peggy if she would like to meet my Yemeni Muslim friend. Unfortunately we only had 5 brief minutes with her but Zari said afterwards, “I love your friend, Joy. She is so nice!” Surprised I replied, “You just met her, Zari.” She responded, “I like her face.” I knew Glory was reflecting on Peggy’s face. Zari's remarks reminded me of  of the time when as a young child I listened to Corrie ten Boom speak. I stared at her soft beautiful wrinkled face. I concluded in my child-like understanding that she must be an angel. There’s nothing more captivating and beautiful than a person’s face glowing with the glory of Jesus Christ. Gone is the veil.

Yes, it is great when a social veil can be removed, but even more wonderful when a spiritual veil is removed!

Dear heavenly Father, when I see Your glory reflected on someone's face I’m irresistibly affected. Let Your glory reflect from me unobstructed. Oh, to see Your glory in its fullness and to reflect You! In Jesus’ glorious name, Amen.