The invitation read, Effie’s Tea Party, In honor of the women that have made a profound impact in my life. I hadn’t known Effie for very long and was honored to be invited. All the tea party details were there and the very last line read: Dress code: Fascinators and Fancy Hats! I had recently purchased a new dress that would be perfect to wear, but I would have to think on the fancy hat.
I assumed fascinator was just another creative way to say, ‘fancy’ but was later enlightened that a fascinator was a scarf of crochet work, or lace narrowing toward the ends, worn as a head covering by women.
The night before the tea I did visit a store in search of a ‘fancy’ hat, but came up empty-handed. I decided it would be fine and arrived at the tea in my new dress but without a hat or
fascinator. Before I even got out of my car, I realized what a ‘fascinator’ was, because it was on the head of everyone else arriving. I walked in to the most elaborate class act of a tea party I’ve ever attended. There was so much to enjoy and savor, yet there I was without a fascinator in a sea of beautiful fancy hats. A photographer had been hired to take a photo of us in our ‘fascinator.’
An hour and a half into this wonderful ‘tea’ with songs and scripture celebrating these women, I realized I hadn’t enjoyed a single minute. All I could think about was the fascinator that was clearly not on my head. Next came the lies: “You came unprepared; You don’t belong here; You are clearly not a part; You’re inadequate; Unacceptable.” Stop!
That is the moment the Lord woke me up and helped me realize I was letting this focus on myself hinder me from enjoying this event, these women and His voice. I snapped myself out of this mental stupor, looked around and knew the Lord once again had something to show me in this. What the Lord was trying to show me unfolded in my quiet time the next morning.
“You felt out of place, unprepared, and that you didn’t belong all because you didn’t wear a ‘fascinator’. In that room of over thirty women, others also felt they didn’t belong, some outwardly, but many on the inside. There were women struggling with insecurity, rejection, a haunting past, a present sin. I am always more concerned about your ‘heart,’ Jamie, than anything else.”
This passage came clearly to my mind. Samuel had been given the honor to anoint the next king of Israel with oil, and the Lord gave him this instruction:
“…Do not look at his appearance or at his physical stature, because I have refused him. For the Lord does not see as man sees, for the man looks at the outward appearance, but the Lord looks at the heart.” 1 Samuel 16:7 NKJV
Following the tea party I purchased a fascinator as a reminder of what the Lord taught me that day.