The bride was beautiful. It wasn’t just her dress, makeup or natural beauty. It was the radiance of her heart from the inside to out. To top it off, she wears beauty, both the inside and out, with a genuine, sincere grace and humility. Her face glows. Her heart shines.
It was the day she’d always dreamed about, and it was glorious. The groom is a top of the line guy, and soon after they met, their spirits danced. They fell in love and quickly grew into soulmates.
Any time you’ve lost a close family member though, there’s always a certain yearning that rustles the memory of those who won’t be there. The bride’s father was a good man, and marked her life profoundly well. He passed away unexpectedly after her 5th grade year, and making it even harder, she and the rest of her family were with him on vacation.
It’s hard for children who can’t touch, hear or talk to their hero. Some children respond negatively and grow up cold, hard and calloused. On the other hand, some choose otherwise.
Deuteronomy 30:19 says, “…I have set before you life and death, blessings and curses. Now choose life, so that you and your children may live”.
She chose life. She chose blessings. She chose wisely.
She grew from a sweet little girl into a genuinely kind, young lady, and matured into a gentle, gracious woman.
Yet for a bride who’s lost her father, a wedding day can be a poignant reality check. Some things have to change. Who will walk me down the aisle? Who will give me away? Would Daddy approve of this man I’m about to marry? The thoughts, the longings, the memories can mix up the wonderful moments of today with the painful memories of yesteryear.
Yet as always, the bride’s perspective was positive. Her deep sorrow and great pain created within her a deep compassion and great empathy. She saw light and goodness over despair and darkness.
On their wedding day, the bride and groom joined hearts and last names in a truly unique, memorable ceremony. During the reception, the groom danced with his mother, and afterwards the most memorable Daddy Daughter dance I’ve ever seen began.
The bride’s mother, her biggest fan, had seen something at another wedding. She shared it and the bride agreed to a remarkable idea. Before the wedding, they set up a number of men who in one way or another, had either touched or been involved in the bride’s life. Each would take turns briefly dancing with the bride during the Daddy Daughter dance.
I truly believe there are times when the windows of heaven open up and loved ones there can witness monumental moments on earth. That night, the curtains opened wide, and the bride’s father stepped to a heavenly window to look down at his daughter as she danced a dance that was all his.
The song, Good, Good Father by Chris Tomlin started, and as the words began, the power of the moment dawned.
The bride’s stepfather, a good man who dearly loves her, stepped out and they began to dance. Soon, another man cut in.
A long line formed of uncles, cousins, family, and friends, all men who adored the bride. Each stood waiting for a spin on the floor with the lady in the white flowing gown.
The words rang out: “You’re a good, good Father…It’s who You are…And I am loved by You.”
It’s hard to explain, really, but there are times when what you see is the smallest part of what is going on. Such was a time.
The bride smiled. The bride cried. She giggled like a little girl and threw her head back in laughter. The next moment she was deeply serious. She was happy. She was sad. She grateful. She was glad.
Watching from the crowd, it seemed her whole being, her entire life was represented in those moments. She was a gracious, young woman in a wedding gown twirling on the dance floor. She was an aged woman in the future, wrinkled with time, slowly stepping to the music. At the same time, she was a little girl with pigtails, holding hands and standing on her Daddy’s shoes as he moved and danced for them both.
It looked as if she really was dancing with her Daddy in a time and place she would remember forever. Maybe she was. Maybe her Daddy was on the shoulder of every man who had the honor and privilege to dance with the beautiful bride, the bride who is, and always will be, Daddy’s little girl.
And even more so, the Father to the fatherless was also in the room. You knew it. You felt it. He was in her tears of joy, and sorrow, her smiles of peace, and hope, her dreams today, her comfort yesterday. He was in her eyes when she smiled knowing that in the darkest days, and the lightest moments, her father, and her Father, were there with her. God’s Spirit danced with the bride during that song just as He had done over and over in the past, just as He will in the future.
The words sang true: “Oh, and I’ve seen many searching for answers far and wide, But I know we’re all searching, For answers only You provide, Cause You know just what we need, Before we say a word.”
The song played several times through as the long line dwindled. Each man who danced with the bride had his own words, his own way of speaking hope, peace and blessings. The dance was for all to see, but the words were for the bride’s ears only.
The last man in line was a stately, older gentleman. He opened his arms and flashed a knowing smile as the bride’s face beamed love in return. He was her grandfather.
She danced with the same grace as with every other person, but with her grandfather, there was a freedom in the bride. It was like she wasn’t in a wedding gown or dancing a formal dance. She became the loved little girl again. Her grandfather’s gentle eyes twinkled a playful mischievousness, and she was free in her spirit in a way that only children who are deeply loved understand.
Her grandfather could cut the rug too! His rusty, but spirited Fred Astaire feet danced with his beloved granddaughter as they twirled, laughed, and lived the moment.
The chorus closed, “You’re a good, good Father, It’s who You are, it’s who You are.”
The dance finished. Joy floated.
It was good. Everything. Life. Love. Hope. Peace. It was all good!
Maybe it’s all just perspective. Maybe life isn’t really about what happens to you, happy or sad, good or bad. Maybe it’s really just a choice of what you DO with life.
The bride sees light when others see darkness. She treats the seemingly insignificant person the same as the most important. She smiles when others frown. She sings when others curse. She dances when others cry. Perspective…
…and the fact that she believes. Everyone has a father, but not everyone has two. The bride had an earthly father, and she has a Heavenly Father, and that, that has made all the difference!!