The wedding was booked in the summer of 2012 for January 5 of 2013. It would probably be a cold Saturday with little else happening. At least that’s what Othel thought when he agreed to photograph it.
No one would have guessed that the Rebels would go bowling in January. Even the bride and groom, loyal Ole Miss supporters, were stunned that their wedding day had to be shared with a Bowl game that they couldn’t attend.
The wedding party was a friendly, well-mannered group which helped soften the fact that the Rebel Nation was celebrating a victory without us. The pre-wedding shoot ran smoothly with the attractive couple and their attendants except for the toddler flower girl. Her mother, who was a bridesmaid, told us the wedding interfered with her daughter’s naptime. Othel and I could relate to interference!
The dainty flower girl told her mother that she chose not to stand for the group shot and that she wanted her mother to hold her. Let me clarify that – the toddler didn’t speak a word, but everyone in the sanctuary knew exactly what she was saying by her actions and cries.
Her mother knew immediately what her daughter was “saying” because she lifted her past the yards of taffeta in her long skirt to cradle her in her arms.
Suddenly it dawned on me. Words aren’t always necessary when we pray. There’s no school to teach the “how-to’s” of the perfect prayer. The Father hears our cries so no one need ever use excuses for not praying because they don’t know how.
As the evening progressed I noted the thoroughness of the bride’s preparations. Her dress and veil had been steamed, packed and sealed for protection. Her shoes were in a soft carrying case along with all of her makeup and undergarments. The groom’s ring was in a zippered compartment, and her florist arrived at the scheduled time to deliver her bouquet. This bride had planned and made preparations months in advance for everything to be perfect for her groom.
The sorrowful words of God to the prophet Jeremiah invaded my thoughts: “Can a virgin forget her ornaments, or a bride her attire? Yet My people have forgotten Me days without number.”
There was the problem – not the financial cliff, gun control, AIDS, teen pregnancies, drugs, liquor permits, school violence, divorce, corruption, pornography or . . . The list seems endless.
We, God’s people, are the guilty. In the midst of our prosperity and focus on what makes us happy in this life, we’ve forgotten the One who gives life.
I missed the Rebels’ Bowl game, but I didn’t miss learning some key lessons for victory in the contest of life.