The Parable of the Fallen Bridal Gown
I am a bridal gown designed for that special young woman who, from her earliest days of bows and frills, has cherished the dream of enhancing her beauty within a style like mine.
I come with matching veil and shoes. My wearer will select her favorite accessories and assemble her choicest bouquet to complete her attire for her most memorable event. Yet, of all the fashion items on display that day, I will be the center of attention.
Some will look at me more intensely than they look at the face of the bride, for they will feel obligated to discuss me afterwards with those who never see me. Photographers will snap at me from every angle, and when they display the proofs, the prints will be approved or disapproved according to the way I turn out.
Since everyone thinks so highly of me, it is only fair that I relate my story, with the hope that readers male and female will truly appreciate their worth.
Just yesterday I was hanging tall with other gowns upon a rack. The push and pull of anxious brides-to-be had been sliding me closer and closer to the edge, but nobody seemed to notice. Finally, one woman barely touched me as she walked by and I fell onto the floor. The sales clerk rushed to my rescue, quickly dusted me, and hung me back in place—but not fast enough to prevent my neighbor gown from noticing.
Without any prompting, she offered, “They’ll have to mark you down. No one will pay full price for a gown that once lay on the floor.”
“What an awful shame!” I sobbed. “Falling is a major tragedy in the life of a bridal gown.”
I’d like to think that the store manager heard our conversation. I could hear her hurried strut approaching, but I was too embarrassed to look. Sensing that she stopped immediately before me, I raised my head and saw the kindest eyes set in a human face. Still, it was what she said that appealed to me. The speech she uttered sounded as melodious as the wedding march sounds to the bride on her wedding day.
“This gown fell,” she stated to the clerk, “but it did not remain on the floor. It isn’t crushed. You recovered it, dusted it thoroughly, reshaped it and returned it to the rack. Something as temporary as a fall cannot alter the worth of so valuable a gown which was created by a prestigious designer from materials of the richest quality. It remains full price.”
You should have seen my fabric glow. My faith and hope rekindled. Realizing that worth is determined by composition and not circumstance, my confidence increased.
Then came the surprise of a lifetime. My neighbor gown insisted on spreading the news that I had fallen. Within minutes, all three of the other gowns on our rack of five had heard my story.
“A wedding gown falling?” mocked the sleeveless one at the far end. “Pity the bride who will wear a soiled dress!”
“No bride will ever choose a messed up gown," giggled the V-neck next to her.
But my twin in the middle silenced them. “You're focused on the fall? Have you wondered if any of us could rebound with such excellence like she did?”
It was my neighbor’s turn to speak but she said nothing. Instead we heard footsteps, and then the additional sound of the manager’s voice.
“This one is my favorite,” she was telling the bride-to-be. “Not only because of its gorgeous design, but also because the material will not hold a crease. You can trust me on that.”
The manager lifted me from the rack and held me high. I felt promoted. My status had changed from fallen to favorite, and that has been my mindset ever since.
So now I want to share my restored sense of worth with the young woman who will select me for her special day.
You too may have had a temporary fall (not a rare occurrence for humans), and people stain faster and deeper than gowns do. Yet, the Almighty who rushes to your rescue is the most competent at restoration. The fall may have added to your challenges but it did not mark you down.
Instead of hosting a pity party, celebrate with gratitude that Someone helped you up. When the neighbors remind you that they saw you soiled and bruised, remind yourself of what you know for sure, that your worth is still intact. When that special someone comes calling, respond with the assurance that you deserve to love and to be loved.
And please wear me with pride on your wedding day. As your guests admire you and me, do outshine me with sweet smiles of confidence, for you have the much greater worth.
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© 2019 Dora Weithers