The Hidden Stain
BY DENISE J. HUGHES
. . . Christ loved the church and gave himself for her. EPHESIANS 5:25
DRAPED IN WHITE LACE I stood ready, waiting. The room brimmed with busyness around me as the bridesmaids clutched their bouquets and the mothers adjusted their corsages. Then suddenly, an eerie silence descended. I searched the faces of my girlfriends while expressions of shock and horror stared back at me. “What happened? What is it?”
I followed their eyes to something behind me. The train of my bridal gown was several feet long—just how I always dreamt it would be. And there, kneeling by my train, my thirteen-year-old cousin held a steaming hot clothes iron; beneath it a dark orange triangle smoldered on the train of my dress. Apparently she tried to iron out the creases in the train, but the iron was too hot for the satin.
As the music began in the sanctuary, I looked up and said, “Quick! Somebody run to the church office and find some liquid Wite-Out!” I figured it might make the fabric clumpy and goopy, but at least it wouldn’t be dark orange.
I told my cousin not to worry about it and plotted with my maid of honor how we could hide the stain. Instead of spreading out my train behind me, like she did at the rehearsal, I asked her to fold the fabric over to cover the stain. And down the aisle we went.
In Scripture, the church is the bride of Christ. By God’s grace, the stain of our sin no longer marks us. We are cleansed and set free. The bride of Christ isn’t perfect, none of us are, but Christ’s forgiveness is complete.
On my wedding day, no one in the sanctuary knew the bride had a huge ugly stain on her dress. But one day, there will be another wedding, and the bride of Christ will appear . . . without spot or wrinkle.
A Moment to Breathe . . .
Look on the cover of this book. You’ll see a faint stain from a coffee mug. It’s there on purpose. Because we all have “stains” we want to hide, but Christ removes them when we ask Him to. And we’ve no better reason to exhale than that.