Long long ago in the year 2 BC-19, I had a leisurely stroll through the land on Instagram. Since they changed the chronology thing it was a surprise to see a picture of a person I actually knew and not the barrage of endless memes I was so accustomed to.
This dude I know was in a hat – a baseball cap if you want specifics – and he looked good in it. I’ve always been envious of people who can pull hats off. Like where did you get that skull bruh? Was it on sale? Did God have a specific production line of people who could pull off wearing hats and I wasn’t part of that line?
Anyway, dude looked good in a hat. And against my envy, I proceeded to comment exactly that. He commented back and said that he wasn’t really a hat guy but he tried it and that maybe I should too.
Naturally, I ignored his advice. I don’t try things. This dome and the sun are friends, and who am I to come between this 29-year old friendship? What kind of person does that? The Bible says don’t sow discord among brethren and my head and the sun were definitely kin.
But one day, in the year 1 BC-19, the sun was particularly unfriendly, so Eve decided to lend me a hat.
“What is that?” I said. Looking at this straw fedora like it was a giant slug. Large and impossibly disgusting.
“It’s a hat,” she said. “You need to protect your head. Hio jua si jokes.”
“Woman, that’s what sunscreen is for?” I said. Although I did not actually say the word ‘woman’ because apparently, women don’t like to be called women. It boggles the mind that logic.
“Sunscreen isn’t enough. Put the hat on.”
“But I don’t want to.”
“Well, you’re going to.”
And that was that because women like arguing just to win. It’s a fact don’t come at me. So I put on the straw monstrosity and looked at myself in the mirror. I felt like a clown in costume. Like a very very much discounted version of Ne-Yo.
“You look nice in a hat,” Eve said. I rolled my eyes. “You do,” she insisted.
“If you say so,” I said. Which is the passive-aggressive man’s approach to arguing. Let her have her way but if it doesn’t work out, it would be her fault because she’s the one who said so. So I left the house and went out to wherever it is I was going but it was really strange. I felt like everyone was looking at me in my straw fedora. It was worse than the time I went commando to church – at least then I could always put my hands in my pocket if it got too uncomfortable. But this thing on my head felt like a beacon. A billboard. A shining light atop my head.
But then, lo and behold, someone else whose opinion I couldn’t care less about told me I look good in a hat and I should wear them more often. I was like, woah. Kumbe Eve was right? I should tell her that she was right but then she’ll start bragging that of course, she was right. She’s always right. Maybe I don’t tell her. Yeah. I won’t tell her. It also felt good not getting all the UV rays directly on my bald spot.
Eventually, I got more hats and Eve knows in her heart that she was right. But as long as it’s in her heart and not in my ear I’m good.
Anyway, the reason for this long introduction is church.
Wait a minute, you ask, what does the church have to do with hats?
Well, I’m glad you asked. See, I’ve gotten so used to hats that I have entire outfits that I cannot wear without a hat. And sometimes, I neglect shaving my head and it’s nice knowing I can just cover it up and not care about how it looks. I wear hats in the office, in Zoom meetings with my superiors’ superiors, going to the bank and more recently to church.
There’s this guy at church, the head usher or something, he belongs to the generation that precedes mine. Every time he sees me in an outfit that requires a hat, he asks me (by asking I mean he basically orders me) to remove it. Now, I get that wearing a hat seems like disrespect to some people but why would a piece of clothing offend you? Jesus doesn’t care if I sit and listen to His word while wearing a hat so why should you?
Each time the man asks me to take it off, I smile and say no. I used to give the excuse that I have bad hair under there but I don’t want to lie to the man. Moreso in church, so I just say a simple no. Or shake my head if I don’t have the time for words. What’s he going to do? Throw me out of the house of the Lord? Methinks not.
But why don’t you just take the hat off? It’s not that hard.
I could do that but why should I? Women get to keep their hats on in church, don’t they? I don’t see anyone asking them to take theirs off. Kwanza vile zao ni kubwa mpaka they obstruct others from seeing the altar. What’s so special about them that can’t be applied to dudes? After all, the Bible does say that there is no Jew nor Gentile, slave nor master, man or woman when you are in Christ (I forget the passage – I think it’s in Timothy or Titus- but it’s in there). So why do women keep their headgear and men are supposed to lay theirs down?
No. Not this man. I don’t even take it off when we pray and I’ll tell you why. Imagine, you’re a Christian. Born again. All the awesome promises of God are yours. You’re a child of the Most High God, seated in heavenly places with Christ Jesus Himuselfu – far above every power and principality and any name that can be named. You’re a righteous man and when you pray, things happen. Now imagine that despite all this, God -your Father- will not and cannot listen to you -His beloved son- or your prayer because you have a hat on.
What manner of belief is that? Where the Spirit of the Lord is there is liberty. Be not conformed to this world but be ye transformed by the renewing of your mind.
Can I get an amen?
NOTE: I’m not a rebellious person but I do like making religious people uncomfortable. Let me wait for church announcements next week, I’m sure something about hats will be mentioned.