Crusader made the mistake of leaving one of his Christmas gifts behind when he returned to school, and I think he can truly kiss it goodbye. It’s one of those Bluetooth beanies, and from the moment Think Tank tried it on…let’s just say the two connected. At first I think he loved it because of the technology, but now, that hat is his forever friend. It’s hard to picture what pre-beanie Think Tank looked like.

And he’s not alone. I love my hats. They’ve become an all-purpose security blanket, like Linus’s from the Peanuts Gang. I wear hats to protect my pin curls from the rain, to keep my head warm in the cold, to complete an outfit, or to hide a bad hair day. They make me feel comfortable and safe, and it’s rare that I leave home, or even my bedroom, without one. Crusader added to my collection at Christmas, so I have lots of coordinating colors, and thanks to Hubby, I, too, can slide on my Bluetooth-connected cap and tune out the world while turning up Kirk Franklin.

But nobody wears a hat like my mama.

My hats covered a multitude of sins, but not my mama’s. She believed that when you went to church, you looked your best—and she didn’t save her best bonnet for Easter. On Sundays around 11:50 a.m., almost an hour after the opening prayer, she’d strut through one of the front doors that faced the whole congregation and sit in the far-left corner of the very first pew. We girls always wanted to just slip in unnoticed through a side door, but Mama and her hat weren’t meant for the back of the church.

What type of hat do you hide behind? Something useful that you feel gives your life purpose and meaning? When I wear the hat of wife and mother I know I’m needed. I carry myself a certain way as I bear up the weight and responsibility of that hat because it helps me serve so many different needs. Wearing the writer hat fulfills me in other ways, in ways that are different—but not better—than running a household. I wear this hat cocked at such an angle that it garners attention that I’m not used to, but that I seek indirectly while trying to glorify God. Sometimes I wear a hat that belongs to someone else. It’s too big or too small, but I wear it to get the job done, a job I didn’t want to do in the first place.

Just like Mama and her hats, I’m not meant for the back of anything. We, His people, need to fulfill the purpose He designed specifically for us. We can’t let our hats cover who we are in Christ. They shouldn’t put out the fire that burns brightly for Him. Sometimes that means taking off the hat, shedding the costume, showing people who we are and not what we do, or what people call us.

My hat should reveal my character, not hide it; it should enhance my appearance, not detract from it. The hats I wear and the work I do while wearing them should glorify God, not me. And even if my head is bare He’ll see me and know who I am, because He knows Whose I am. No matter where I sit in church.

“You are the light of the world. A city that is set on a hill cannot be hidden. Nor do they light a lamp and put it under a basket, but on a lampstand, and it gives light to all who are in the house. Let your light so shine before men, that they may see your good works and glorify your Father in heaven.” Matthew 5:14-16

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