Thursday, April 27, 2006

Weddings--Take Cover

“At a wedding, you must always be prepared for anything. Ripped pantyhose, lost buttons, lipstick on a wedding dress, drunk groomsmen, bad hair, hysterical mothers, brides who change their minds, preachers who are no shows. Let nothing throw you,” instructs my mother, the queen of weddings.

As a child, I spent countless Saturdays in churches helping my mother coordinate weddings. Most of the weddings she directed contained a cast of friends or family that she dearly loved. Grown-up students, children of friends, church family, and neighbors became beautiful brides and handsome groomsmen in weddings that Mom coordinated. Twenty-five years of Family Living Weddings, the mock wedding her class performed each semester, added to my wedding experiences as well. She directed each wedding with grace and style, always honored to be a part of their sacred celebration.

I, on the other hand, felt much less enthusiastic about my Saturdays being taken. Instead of spending Spring afternoons with friends by a neighborhood pool or in a playroom full of Barbie dolls, this 10-year-old was holding a walkie-talkie, cueing groomsmen, or fixing a French twist gone bad.

One wedding was particularly traumatic for me. Mom realized that the bride did not have anyone videotaping the ceremony. She called my father, and he brought our personal video camera up to the church. Since the bridesmaids were about to come down the aisle, she sent record and me upstairs to set-up the camera. Even though I was in the third grade, she never let my age stop us. We were a wedding tag team.

Unfortunately, a problem quickly manifested. The tripod squeaked terribly, so I sent Heather Hutton, also in third grade, downstairs to get Mom. “Heather, ask Mom to bring up some WD-40,” I requested from my sidekick. My grandmother taught me as the importance of WD-40 in situations like this. Heather ran downstairs, but Mom was too busy with the bride to hear about our problem. When they watched the video later that night, all they heard was the high-pitched screeching and the delightfully wicked giggles of little girls.

Mom passed on her knowledge to me, and I find myself directing weddings and making wedding bouquets more often than I ever dreamed. We have seen a mother slap a bride. She said her vows with a swollen handprint on her left cheek. We have used leaves from trees when florists did not show, and we can cut a wedding cake in two minutes flat. Between the two of us, we have been a bridesmaid 17 times.

Why do we so easily lose sight of the commitment in the middle of the chaos?

Donald Miller says in Searching For God Knows What that we marry Jesus when we start following Him. My wedding experiences have caused me to become a bit jaded towards the wedding events. After some couples spend thousands and thousands of dollars, fight viciously with those that matter most, and worry constantly about what people will think of them, they find themselves overwhelmed with disappointment. All they have when it is over is each other. They forgot to fall in love.

May we never forget to fall in love with Jesus as we walk through our lives with Him. Dear friends, please do not let the tasks and talk of Christianity prevent you from loving the One who loved you first. Let us remember that love and carry it deep in our hearts.

On May 13th, Carol and Caroline Ingle will be the guests speakers at the Mother/Daughter Garden Tea at First Baptist Church Conyers. Tickets are $15. Reservations can by made by calling Janice Craven at (770) 483-8700.

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