And as the bridegroom rejoices over the bride, so shall your God rejoice over you. ~ Isaiah 62:5
It’s been twenty-five years, and I still remember.
I met you at the rehearsal the day before the wedding. You were the caretaker at the old church downtown. It was a suitable title for you, since even in this you noticed something that needed care.
I was about to walk down the aisle to meet my bridegroom. You were already an elderly gentleman at the time, but you bent to straighten a lengthy mass of fabric and tulle so I would walk down the aisle with a smooth, untwisted train and veil.
I haven’t seen you since. You may have left this world by now, but your thoughtful act remains. Sometimes when I drive by the church I wonder about you and remember your kindness. You, in the background, making sure it all went off just so.
And it strikes me that this small act is a beautiful picture of Christ…the One who bent to straighten the wrinkles in our lives.
“Christ loved the church and gave himself up for her, that he might sanctify her, having cleansed her by the washing of water with the word, so that he might present the church to himself in splendor, without spot or wrinkle or any such thing, that she might be holy and without blemish.
He came to live with us. He helped, healed and showed us what it is to humbly serve. Then He died for us so we could be beautiful on the day we meet Him again. He withstood the cross so we could stand flawless on the day our lives end here.
I’m not sure of all you did on my special day. You may have cleaned and vacuumed the church, straightened a lopsided pew bow, and lit the candles in preparation for the guests. I wouldn’t have noticed whether my train was wrinkled – my groom was waiting at the altar – but I do know that I wouldn’t have managed to straighten it myself.
In the same way, Christ knew we could never manage to smooth out our lives’ wrinkles to be perfect enough to appear before the Lord, so He made a way. His sacrifice set us free and made us holy so we can personally commune with God. He reached out and lovingly, tenderly straightened our veils so we would be perfect.
As I walked down the aisle, I noticed my groom’s face. It was a mixture of pride and happiness. There were tears of joy in his eyes. This too is a picture of how much we are loved by God. He tells us:
“As the bridegroom rejoices over the bride, so shall your God rejoice over you.”
I’m not sure how many brides’ trains you straightened over the years, but know your kind gesture made a difference.
May you know the love of Christ and be reminded how How rejoices over you!