I recently came across some photos that my sister had given me from her wedding last year. There were photos of she and her hubby and photos of the wedding party, but there was also a photo of myself waiting to walk down the aisle as one of her bridesmaids.
At the time I had just stopped nursing Clara and was feeling a little down on myself. I was back to work, over my ideal post-baby weight, and I had just cut my hair because a lot of it was falling out post-partum.
Yet, I remembered a comment my sister had made when she first gave me the photos. She said, "Look at these photos of you girls walking down the aisle. In the pictures of you and Jenny (her sister-in-law) you can clearly tell that you are looking at your husbands."
I remember that moment. I looked down the aisle and finding the gaze of my husband at the altar. It was a very sacramental moment for me as I recalled my own journey down the aisle and all the things we had already been through. My heart filled with love and peace and my eyes welled up with happy tears. Walking down the aisle became a testament to the power of a God-filled marriage. We were "leading the way" for my beautiful sister and her husband. I was truly to be a handmaid, serving her by example and presence.
In a world where weddings have become a greater focus than the marriage this comment really made me reflect on the role of the bridesmaid. Sometimes it seems as though a wedding and a bridal party is all about an opportunity for adult dress-up. Yet, the beautiful ritual that is the Sacrament of Marriage prevents us from becoming too caught up in it. We are reminded that the old traditions of the bridesmaids, dressing, carrying, and leading, are not just folly. We stand as witness to the marriage, but more importantly as servants and guides.
My wedding day was one of the most powerful and sacramental days of my life. Moreover, standing up in my sister's wedding with my husband was one of the most powerful renewals of our vows and our vocation that I have experienced to this point. I am reminded that marriage is a journey and it is a journey that we do not take alone. We travel with God, our three in One. With God we co-create, we sanctify, and we serve our marriage and our world and while we do that we lead the way for other holy men and women who are watching our example.
All that from a wedding photo and a 20 minute drive to work...