I was standing in the front of the sanctuary, November 6, 2004, right in front of the newly made altar. My hands were sweating as I was realizing that I was playing the role of my Savior in front of all of those people. My best man, Jim, and my eight (!) groomsman had just walked in to the hymn, “Praise to the Lord, the Almighty”, deliberately picked by my bride and me because we wanted people to know what this was all about. It was a glimpse of reality.
As I stood there, not quite knowing what to anticipate in the silence, I heard the beginning of the song, “How Beautiful”. After the first two verses and the bridge, I remember the words, “How beautiful, the radiant bride who waits for her Groom with His light in her eyes…” And just then, in the back of the sanctuary, stood my bride with her father at her side.
The back of the sanctuary was actually the old lobby. The glass doors used to show a field, but thanks to capitalism, the field became a shopping center. The windows were covered with a sheer curtain to hide the nearby buildings. Because the wedding was in the late afternoon, the sun was slightly setting, providing a blinding glow through the sheer curtains, just as my bride came to the doorway. She took my breath away.
I can still remember thinking to myself, If this is what it will be like when you present your bride to yourself holy and blameless, thank you so much for the glimpse. I was stunned by her beauty, knowing that it was a providentially made metaphor of what it will be like when the Church is presented to her Bridesgroom, glowing in His glory.
I can honestly say that my Bride is more beautiful now than ever before. Chasing our little one around and enduring her seminary husband, she is not the woman she used to be. She is more mature, more Christlike, more excellent of a wife. I will praise her in the gates, for she fears the LORD. And as I celebrate our anniversary, I only pray that God will continue to give us many more years of humbly celebrating His grace and seeing His glory together.