No one in my family guessed right as to when my tear floodgates would open around my youngest Zoe’s wedding. 7 years ago, I managed to walk daughter Amy down the aisle, give away and marry her, and deliver a faither-o’-the-bride speech, maintaining dry eyed dignity throughout. Until the next day at Sunday morning worship, when I totally lost it and became a sobbing wreck. Fireman Kenny wittily quipped from the pews, “I’ve been delivering flood alerts throughout this past week but hadn’t anticipated one for the kirk this morning!” With some of the Fullarton family wrapping their arms around my shoulders and legs (at kids’ level) to assure me of the congregation’s support, I eventually managed to introduce the first hymn of praise and re-compose myself.
Well, it was 3am on the morning of Zoe’s wedding that my blubbering began as I woke and considered how proud I was of my darling daughter. I was able to tell Zoe how proud I am of her before she put her make-up on to save it running around her face like a ‘park run’. We got a good weep-out together and managed to hold it together for the aisle walk, service, etc, till the speeches, when there was some light rain all round.
All of this opened up a window into God’s Heart to allow a glimpse of the pride God has for His Son Jesus, and His beloved Children ‘US’, described in Revelation as ‘The Bride of Christ’, whose acts of loving service and sacrifice beautify us before God, like the folds, stitches and brightness which beautify a bride’s dress (Revelation 19:8).
What amazing Love God has for us that He should not just give His Son to us as our groom and husband, but also to give him up for us all through Jesus’ birth, life, death, resurrection, ascension, promised return and the glorious wedding celebration of all time (Cf. Revelation chapters 19 – 21).
If my imperfect love for, and pride in, my daughter and new son-in-law is anything to go on, Father God’s love for and pride in us is off-the-scale! Yes, each of us must respond positively to Christ’s invitation to share here, now and eternity with him and make every intention of being there at the wedding feast of The Lamb, not just as guest but as an intimate and personal part of Christ’s Bride, ready to grow more and more in love with our husband and hero Jesus Christ.
As God’s pride in, and love for, us beams bright and warms our hearts, let us be determined, by God’s Grace and with Christ’s help, to make God’s beaming smile deeper as we prove and daily practise His Love in the caring way we treat people, especially those who are all too easily neglected, missed out and forgotten.
As for me, my ‘bride-pride’ continues to bubble up nicely with deep smiles and tears as I reflect with gratitude and look forward with prayerful hope to Zak & Zoe’s future as Mr & Mrs Aylett.