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The time for the wedding was approaching quickly. Most everyone was aware, though some were more interested than others. The bride, a commoner, was about to be married into royalty and that was newsworthy. And even though the bride was coming from among the simple and humble; her characteristics, her creativity, her talents, her abilities – made her somehow different. And to top everything off – the groom had paid for everything!
As the wedding party gathered, the bride and those around her found themselves in one room preparing for the big event. Misfortune had fallen on some of those in that room though. One was having trouble with her hair. Nothing seemed to make it stay up and adorned like the others. Another had accidentally caught her dress on a railing and was frantically trying to figure out how to make a quick repair. Still another had dropped her flowers in muddy water, and now that they could not be used, was seeking a solution. In the center of the room sat the bride. Her skills of fixing hair, sewing, and arranging flowers were desperately needed; yet she sat looking into the mirror. The one with the ripped dress walked by, but the bride didn’t even notice. The one without flowers tried to communicate her problem, but the bride just seemed to be focused on herself. Was she obsessed with her own blemishes and faults? Was she so involved in her situation that she couldn’t see those around her? Did she just not care about anyone else?
Someone announced it was time to begin. In spite of all the problems, everyone lined up, did his or her part, and the couple were married. Pictures were taken after the ceremony and a few weeks later the bride received a big bundle of them. As she looked at them one by one, this time her attention was drawn to the imperfections! That hair! Stringy, hanging down, so plain! She could have so easily spent a few minutes and had it looking beautiful. That ripped dress! Why would anyone not step out of the pictures looking so shabby? A couple of minutes with a needle and thread and no one would have noticed a thing! And that one individual – standing there without holding anything! It would have been so easy to take a flower or two from the other bouquets and make them all look the same. And how the pictures would then have all been beautiful.
I heard an individual tell someone this week that he had attended a local church for six months and no one had spoken to him. Most all churches now have greeters at every door and many have a time of shaking hands and speaking to those around you, but I knew what he meant. He had come to church – hurting, broken, needing – but he had found the bride too busy to see his problem.
I personally don’t think Sunday morning is the best time to get into another’s life – to offer help, guidance, love, compassion, etc. But I do realize that a lot of folks out there who are hurting, who are broken, who are needy – believe they might find an answer attending a service. The church is not the building. The people are the church. Are we “being” the church? – at work, at school, in the grocery store, wherever we are?
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Join me in encouraging Philip as he enters the Wide World of Blogging. I am looking forward to his new blog and future posts to encourage and make us think. Well Done, Philip!