Shroud

"Hey dad!  Look!  A ninja!"

I mean, she's 7.  She can't possibly know how politically incorrect it is to a call a muslim woman in an all black hijab with only eyes exposed, a "ninja".  But, based on all my daughter knows and has been exposed to her in her relatively short life, that was a ninja.

The purposes of that garment, according to Wikipedia, are pretty interesting:

"The Arabic word hijab has a literal translation into the word “veil”. The word hijab applied to both men and women in terms of protecting both their private lives from outsiders..."

The veil has some pretty powerful imagery in the Bible.  A veil was torn and distance bridged in the sacrifice of Jesus:

What was unseen became seen by all.

The unreconciled were reunited.

Authority shifted from the few to all who believe.

The Father has even used this sort of imagery to awaken the treachery of my parenting.  Deep in discouragement, frustration, and the captivity of my legalism, I sought the Father afresh in the mountains more than a decade ago.  My children were my prize and my joy, but there was also something incredibly insidious at play.  They were an essential pawn in a validation game I was playing to bring myself approval and honor.  Their success was to my credit and their failure was credited to my frustration.

In a word, I was crushing them and my wife with a need for validation and identity that they could not provide.  When I sought relief from my Father in this area...I mean, I didn't beat, abuse, or use harsh language with them...He showed me a pretty ugly picture.  The words He spoke into to me were:

"Your children wear your disappointment like a shroud."

Even today, I can still remember my 3 eldest children (it is the healing in this area that paved the way for my 3 to become my 6) in the shrouded prison of my disappointment.  Completely veiled in all black with only their precious eyes peering out from underneath.  I am fighting back the tears in this crowded coffee shop at merely the thought of them.

I have experienced so much victory in this area, but I have so much further to go.  Recently walking through the early year's of my daughter's life in pre-marriage counseling with her and her fiancé, has been an incredible blessing and reminder of ground taken.  All is getting whole and healed for her as well.

I find myself clinging to two things the Father has promised me:

He will restore all that the locusts have eaten.

There is so much more.

The veil was torn and removed for all of us.

The veil was torn and removed for my precious ones...no longer shrouded.

Paul says it powerfully to the church in Corinth:

As all of us reflect the Lord's glory with faces that are not covered with veils, we are being changed into his image with ever-increasing glory. This comes from the Lord, who is the Spirit.

They are unshrouded, beautiful, and glorious.  He is fulfilling his promises to me.  He has not only restored all the locusts have eaten, He is showering us with so much more than we ever thought possible.  Thank you, Father.