Tuesday, October 6, 2009

A Woman's Power


Throughout history headgear has been a symbol of the power or authority a person possesses. This cultural phenomenon isn’t used much in modern society, but it is still used enough that we all recognize what many hats represent. All of us recognize a nurse’s cap, a mortar board, a chef’s hat, a policeman’s hat, a court jester’s hat, and a crown. Throughout time there have been many other types of head gear to represent a person’s attainment or the power they have acquired to tend to the sick, or to cook, or to rule a country.

One of the most interesting types of headgear that modern society has lost the meaning of is the veil that brides and women in many parts of the world still wear. You remember that when Eliezer brought Rebekah back to marry Isaac, as they neared Issac’s lands, she saw a man off in the fields and dismounted from her camel. “What man is this?” she asked Eliezer. “It is my master,” Eliezer answered, and upon knowing that this was the man she was to marry, Rebekah “took a vail, and covered herself” (Genesis 24:65).

What is happening here is beautifully symbolic. A woman’s veil, like any headgear, is a symbol of her power. In this case it is a symbol of the power a woman has to give life. When veiled a woman is unseen and inside the veil, just as her power to give live is internal and unseen to anyone looking at her. So as Rebekah beholds the priesthood bearer she is to marry, she veils her face representing the fact that she is bringing to him the power to give life. Sealed together they will then have the authority of priesthood and the power to bear life which are both needed in order to be like God.

It is such beautiful symbolism that it sends a tickle of delight through my soul when I see a bride or one of my Muslim sisters who still wear veils that symbolize the great power God has entrusted to women.

6 comments:

Amy said...

Oh, I love you. Thanks for teaching me this several years ago. It made a huge difference.

Wendi said...

I love the last sentence of the last full paragraph about the combined power of a sealed couple. Neat. :)

Rachel said...

I've never thought of it that way before. Thanks!

Sherrie Mills Johnson said...

Amy, I love you, too!

Sherrie Mills Johnson said...

Wendi, It's a beautiful thing to think about, isn't it!

Sherrie Mills Johnson said...

Rachel, Thank you! I love the symbolism.