Pristine Grace

The Wedding!
by Eileen Beckett
The Wedding!

Contemplating what it is going to be like to attend this wedding today has been quite a thought process, an ambivalent thought process. I’ve known this young lady since the day she was born, I was there and along with her dad was the first to see her in the nursery, to touch her fingers and to rejoice with the parents who had lost one in miscarriage and one in still birth. The parents have been friends for many, many years so I wanted to go to share their joy this day as well.

They belong to the church I withdrew my membership from, so therein lay the ambivalence and why I am even a bit hesitant. I wonder you see; who will be there, will they shun me, what do they think now, do they still care for me as I care for them, will they even talk to me and on and on the thoughts swirled. I think you get the picture and I’m sure you can relate, after all we really are all the same. At the same time, I know that my deepest joy doesn’t rest in the opinion that others may have of me, it rests in Jesus Christ my only true comfort. So I’m off to the wedding and I’m looking forward to the day and I’m hesitant, both thoughts mingled together.

It was an outdoor wedding and probably one of the windiest days we have had in several months, but at least the wind made it cooler. It wasn’t a solemn setting as some weddings can be, more down to earth with a western setting as the kids are from that lifestyle. The traditional vows were said and the pastor gave a short message about marriage being likened to Christ and His Church. In my own mind I rejoiced in knowing that Christ shed His blood for His people only, and we, His sheep, are the true bride of Christ and I rejoiced that I know Him as my Bridegroom. I know that many there rejoiced in the same truth.

When I saw those that I genuinely love I went to them, unhesitating to show that, although I have come out of the membership of the ‘institutional church’ and have doctrinal differences with them that hasn’t changed me or my love and care for them. In those differences I don’t question their faith or their love for Christ, nor am I ashamed of coming out of the church or where I am at today in my earthly journey along the way, trusting always the One who directs my steps. I wanted them to know that without words but by my actions! There were several that wouldn’t have come to me if I hadn’t gone first, but I don’t mind that, someone always has to be the first don’t they? I don’t believe they did that out of dislike or in a judgmental way, more along the lines of confusion and I do like to give the benefit of the doubt as much as possible. So I was delighted to give hugs, shake hands and inquire into their well being, having missed them. It was a social setting and remained on that level the remainder of the day, but it was good. There was good food, lots of laughter, much reminiscing and I’m truly glad that I went.

I do miss their presence in my life but I know that all things work together for good to those who love God and are called according to His purposes so I rest in that truth as I rest in Him!