One day I went by the mosque up at Prospect Mira with my husband and children. I loved that the closer I came to the mosque, the more I felt as if I were in Central Asia. Women were dressed in their brightly colored, native dresses. Men gathered around tables of “naan” (Central Asian round bread) and Muslim hats, scarves and prayer mats. It was like a mini Central Asian bazaar right in Moscow. I was happy to be mingling with these dear people.
Then we approached the mosque. A tall, metal fence surrounded it. My husband and his male friend walked through the gate, not noticing that my friend and I stopped cold. A large picture adorned the entrance to the gate, which featured a woman covered from head to toe in a long skirt, long-sleeved shirt and head scarf – the required dress for any female to enter the mosque. (Click on the pic for a larger view. Maybe you can spot the sign at the gate.)
I was wearing a long skirt and a long-sleeved shirt, but since I didn’t have the proper headscarf, I was left behind. Staring at the metal gates, I felt unworthy and as if they were staring in disapproval at me. My friend and I decided to prayerwalk around the exterior of the mosque instead, and as we did so, I felt so grateful that we have a God that doesn’t require us to come before Him in our own perfection before He will listen to us. We come as we are – sinners in need of a Saviour – and He not only accepts us as we are but He also cleanses us and gives us the righteousness of Jesus.