One recent August afternoon, I sped south on Highway 45 out of Jackson, anxious to return home to the cooler countryside. As I maneuvered in and out of the passing lane, cars zoomed around me—probably commuters like me, just trying to get home.
A red traffic light a half-block away brought us all to a stop. While waiting for the light to turn, I glanced to my left. It was then I saw her.
A model of perfection stood elegantly posed, with stylish blonde hair and a slim waist. Like a perfectly wrapped gift, lace and silk adorned her. A flowing white gown cascaded from her shoulders to her heels.The vision of cool beauty in the midst of heated concrete, exhaust fumes, and spinning tires caused me to pause.
I’ve seen her before, many times. Actually, when I cared to look, I’ve seen her on every trip to Jackson for the last twenty years.
The waiting bride is enclosed behind glass at a downtown dry cleaners. The store must change and clean the mannequin’s gown every now and then, but I don’t think they’ve ever taken her from the display window.
Hmp. I joked to myself. I think she’s been stood up at the altar. She’s been waiting there a long time.
I skimmed over her face—no frown lines or worry there. A knowing smile touched her lips. No matter what I, or any of the passing travelers thought, she just knew her groom would appear at any moment.
The tip of her curved fingers and her slightly raised hand revealed her heart. Someone was coming for her. He’d take her by the hand and lead her to a beautiful wedding and a grand feast.
My heart skipped a little.
Jesus promised those who believe in Him that he would be returning one day. The church is His Bride. One day, there will be a wedding and a glorious celebration.
The bride in the window reminded me. No matter how weary I am, or how much noise or choking exhaust I endure, the groom is still coming.
Like the ten virgins in the famous parable, I need to be ready. I have to make sure my dress is white, my face, adoring, and my hand upraised in expectation.