There I stood at the closed front door of the church on Nixon Street awaiting my que to walk down aisle. My feet were swelling against the ivory colored granny-boots my mom thought looked so good with my dress. My dress was a beautiful blush color complete with tiny pastel ribbon flowers adorning the lapel. The wearing of pink in those days meant something, it meant the absence of purity. Although I didn’t need the help of the dress to alert anyone to my impure state, for I was standing and waiting to walk down the aisle 9 months pregnant.
Standing and awaiting the opening of the church doors at my father’s side, admiring how dapper he looked with his pink rose boutonniere and his sharp Italian suit, I felt loved and safe. Every strand of my hair hand been curled into ringlets and a wreath of baby’s breath crowned my head and a golden locket from the groom graced my neck. I knew that I should have felt like the most beautiful girl in the world on that day but I also knew that obedience and purity is the invisible attribute that gives a bride her glow and her radiance. The blush color of my dress matched the blushing embarrassment of my spirit and the reality of my current situation could not be overcome with romanticism.
With my arm wrapped anxiously around my fathers strong arm I looked into his eyes and began to cry. “Dad, I’m really sorry!” “Sorry for what Aim?” “I am sorry for how I look, for what I have done, that you have to walk me down the aisle this way.” My dad started to cry ” Oh Aim you are beautiful, don’t cry honey, I am honored to be your dad and walk you down the aisle.” I knew he wasn’t lying my dad had made the choice to be my dad just eight years earlier. And I had tested every boundary of his fatherhood since then. He had searched for me when I ran away. He had picked me up from jail. He had rescued me from abusive situations. He paid for me to go away to school so I could graduate. He adopted me and certainly paid the price for all of my mistakes and now he was walking his wayward daughter, dressed in pink, down the aisle and paying the price for the wedding. I still don’t know how he could feel honored when I had not honored him?
Above all, keep loving one another earnestly for love covers a multitude of sin. 1 Peter 4:8
My father had considered the cost and paid my debt with grace. He was giving grace to me always and in abundance. He was covering my shame with the healing balm of grace. He was covering a multitude of my mistakes with his love. My father was honored because of who he was not because of who I was or what I had done. I was my fathers beloved child, I was simply loved by him.
I can’t tell you what happened in that moment when our eyes tearfully met, but it was most likely a miracle. The church bell rang and the doors opened and as we walked down that aisle, my countenance was changed. The strength of my father was beside me, guiding me and shoring me up as we walked. My dress was still blush my ankles were still swelling and that six pound baby was still taxing my tired body but I was radiant, I was glowing, I was a beautiful bride. All mistakes had been forgiven and I was adorned in LOVE! I would go forth and try to do better because I had been changed by GRACE!