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If I had our wedding to do over again, I would not wear a veil.

Twenty-one years ago, I happily picked out the headpiece and enough material to create both a veil and blusher that hid my face as I walked down the aisle to matrimony.

This is what my mother did and so this is the way I thought it was done.

To be hidden behind a gauzy piece of material breathlessly waiting to be given and to be seen. To cross over from one phase of life and to start another.

But I never asked myself, what purpose do veils serve? 

To cover. To hide. To shield. 

To say, “Not for you. Not now. Not yet” 

In the book of Exodus, the presence of God upon Moses was so intense that the Israelites begged Moses to put on a veil because his glowing face from Divine proximity was just too much.

I think we like things to be shielded. I think somewhere within our humanity, we’d rather intense and uncomfortable things stay behind veils. We don’t really want the curtain to be ripped back and to see what lays naked and exposed on the other side.

We’d rather not know.

The word Apocalypse is often made synonymous with destruction and chaos. But it actually means to unveil. 

Could it be that the thought of actually seeing something in all of its ugly beautiful and raw and sometimes wretched power has the perceived potential to destroy us? And the mere thought of that destruction or undoing makes us pull that curtain tighter and back away further?

We’d.     Rather.     Not.      Know.

 Paul of the Bible says we see through a glass dimly. But what happens when we intentionally shroud our view because we are scared of what we might see?

I believe that veils are a human construct.

Throughout the Bible, God has always extended a hand of friendship and intimacy -- to step behind that mystical curtain, to walk alongside God in the cool of the morning or sun-streaked sky of the evening. 

The only people who have ever required and demanded a veil have been us.

What if we could be brave enough to take off our veils? To ask others around us to remove theirs? To see each other as we are and not shrink back in fear of what we may find?

Let us walk joyfully forward bare-faced and unafraid into a life that we see clearly, confident that while so many things are unknown and uncontrollable, we will still have our steady and true gaze.

And it will be enough.

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