Reading: Philippians 4:6-7. Don’t fret or worry. Instead of worrying, pray. Let petitions and praises shape your worries into prayers, letting God know your concerns. Before you know it, a sense of God’s wholeness, everything coming together for good, will come and settle you down. It’s wonderful what happens when Christ displaces worry at the center of your life. (The Message)
Several years ago, when Prince Charles and Camilla Parker Bowles were married, much was written about the hats worn by guests. Anna Pickard of the London newspaper, The Guardian, wrote a weblog on what was the biggest millinery event of that social season.
Pickard described the hat of Trudie Styler, the wife of the musician Sting, as looking “like the sort of thing you could train hamsters to jump through.” Yikes! Sophie, Countess of Wessex, was reported to be “wearing what from this angle looks like an upturned galvanized bucket.” Uh oh.
Of course, the showstopper was the hat worn by the new Duchess of Cornwall – a gold-ostrich feather hat tipped with Swarovski diamond crystals. In what might only happen in hat-happy England, the Times of London reported that the bride had six fittings for her outfit and 10 for her hat!
The biggest millinery event here on this side of the pond might be the Kentucky Derby. If you missed the spectacle at the 148th running of the Derby, you can check out lots of hat photos online. One reviewer described the race as including “collection of wild, wonderful hats that were both imaginative and beautiful.”
I have a few hats in my closet – but certainly, nothing to rival Camilla’s or any of those seen at the Kentucky Derby. These amazing hats got me thinking: as disciples of Jesus, we wear many hats. As an ode to our faith-inspired millinery, if you will, I offer up the following litany that I wrote a few years ago for my congregational unit.
A litany for the many hats we women wear
We give you thanks, gracious God, for all the beauty in our lives – the toothy grin of a child, the striking song of a cardinal, the delicate flowers of lilacs, the wrinkles of an aging hand.
Ever adorn us, O God, with skimmers and bonnets that we can wear for no other reason than their sheer beauty.
We confess our failure to care for all of creation that you have entrusted to us, and our willingness to look away from hunger and need and brokenness.
Forgive our sins, O God, and keep us from hiding under hoods and veils that mask reality and prevent us from confronting injustice.
We may not all be educators, gracious God, but many turn to us looking for answers, seeking advice, and asking for help.
Keep our mortarboards on straight, O God, that we might offer wisdom and understanding to our families, friends, and co-workers.
Healing God, many we know and love are suffering today, from abuse, addiction, or illness. We pause now to remember those in our lives in need of care…. (you are invited to name those in need, either silently or out loud)
When we are called to put on the nurse’s cap, aid us, O God, to assist in bringing about the healing of body, mind, and spirit.
The challenges and trials we face, gracious God, are sometimes overwhelming. We pause now to remember the matters that weigh heavily on our hearts and minds this day…. (you are invited to offer petitions silently or out loud)
Gird us, O God, with hard hats and helmets to protect us when everything is falling in around us.
We give you thanks, gracious God, for all the roles to which we as women are called: baptized child of God, daughter, sister, mother, aunt, wife, partner, friend, teacher, nurturer.
Sustain, strengthen, and support us, O God, all the days of our lives. Amen.
Editor’s note: Since most of our congregational units pause their programming during the summer months, we will do the same with devotions published on this website. Look for the next devotion to appear in September. Meanwhile, if you need a devotion for a meeting or event, visit our collection of devotions from the last several years.