Tuesday, October 4, 2011

Jewelry and wedding dresses

This morning, I read something from the book of Jeremiah that got my attention. If you're familiar with Biblical things, you'll know that Jeremiah is known as the "weeping" prophet. He pretty much cries about the state of God's people for chapters on end. It's pretty pathetic. But after getting this image in my head that I'm about to share with you, I can understand why he mourns...and it's an image only a woman would understand. This is what he says...

"Does a young woman forget her jewelry? Does a bride hide her wedding dress? No! Yet for years on end my people have forgotten me."

If you're female, you know how important your jewelry can be to you. There are days when the ring on your finger, chain around your neck, or posts in your ears can make you feel like a completely different person. It can change the way you feel about yourself. It can also change the way people look at you. I know that when I've spent enough time and attention on myself to add those extra little touches, people notice and will sometimes comment on how nice I look. Sometimes they'll only comment on my earrings, but mostly it's about the whole person.

And then there's the image of the bride. If you've ever gotten married, you'll recall the importance of "the dress". Women spend thousands of dollars on wedding dresses (not this woman...but many women). No matter what the cost of the dress, it is one of the most important details of the wedding day. It is costly, takes time to choose, and it is the one garment the bride has chosen to be with her on what probably feels like the most important day of her life. For many, it's as much a part of the wedding day as the groom is! Certainly, a bride would never choose a dress only to then hide it under a potato sack.

But here is Jeremiah, likening God's people to a bride who has chosen to hide her dress. She has spent hours choosing the most beautiful, the most flattering and the most amazing dress she'll ever wear in her life...yet she doesn't want to show it to the people closest to her.

God is the most valuable garment we will ever have. When we choose him, we don't do it lightly or without cost, or at least we shouldn't do it lightly or without cost. Sometimes, we give up our habits, we give up our time or we give up our former way of living because that's what we're "supposed" to do when we become his person.

I'm afraid, though, that, like the woman who doesn't care enough to put on her jewelry, we just forget that it's important to add that extra touch that can change everything. Maybe we're too busy trying to get out the door in the morning, that putting on our God and spending time talking to Him or learning from His Word becomes unimportant. Maybe, like that pearl necklace you're saving for a special occasion, your Bible just sits in a drawer. It's never seen, but you know you've got it if you ever need it or have the extra time. Or, maybe like your wedding dress, it was nice for one day, but the day-to-day responsibilities of life require dickies instead of silk.

I think there's something I've learned in this last year, that I didn't know before...and it's reflected in this passage. God makes me beautiful. Granted, I'm not perfect, and not everyone sees the beautiful Leanne all the time...and sometimes my pearls and my wedding dress are locked up for no one to see. But when I spend the extra time learning God's word and being reminded of who He made me to be, I'd like to think that people notice something about me. And I hope that what they notice is not me, but Him and His beauty and worthiness to be worn not only for special occasions, but for every occasion.

Just an aside about this video. I chose this because it's acoustic, not because of the pictures it shows. There's a version with Bethany and her guitar when she was younger that I liked a lot better, but it cut out at the best part. The important part is the words.

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