The Dirty Bride

22 Jan

ImageThis is me getting ready for my wedding (No, not recently. I know, I know – aside from growing my bangs out, I haven’t changed a bit. Ahem.) I loved being a bride! I bought my dress the day after we got engaged. I loved all the planning. I loved making centrepieces and bouquets. I loved writing my vows. I loved picking out my something old (my grandma’s handkerchief that she carried on her wedding day), something new (my dress), something borrowed (the crinoline belonging to my bridesmaid, Christa) and something blue (which was well-concealed by the time I approached the aisle, by the way). I loved having our family and dearest friends surrounding us and supporting us and celebrating us all day.

There is a lot of work that goes into being a bride. Stuff that the groom doesn’t have to think about, and probably doesn’t want to know about. The final look has probably required months of strict diet and exercise regimes, multiple hairstylist appointments, a throng of professionals attending to rough heel skin and unkempt cuticles, an unfathomable (and usually painful) process of hair removal, layer upon layer of lotions-oils-creams-powders-and-sprays, and the surgically precise application of make-up.

No bride gets up on the day of her wedding and has a 3-minute shower, thinking “Hurray! Floor-length gown means I don’t have to shave!” No, this is her day. This is the most beautiful she will look in her whole life. If ever there was a day to be excessive in the preparations, it’s today. She will be resplendent. Everyone in attendance will be in awe. Her groom will go weak in the knees when he sees her radiant beauty.

The bride. This is how the Bible depicts the church. The aforementioned description is the image that is invoked when we hear “the Bride of Christ”. Oh, the pure, spotless bride. Such a romantic notion, is it not? I guess that means we, the church, need to put all our effort into looking pretty on the wedding day, right? Pristine sanctuaries, Grammy-worthy worship performances, bounteous donations to missionaries and other worthy charities…so pretty!

And so far from what our Groom wants.

Jesus wants a dirty bride! A church whose feet are cold and calloused because she’s given away her shoes. A church whose dress is splattered with the food she’s been serving to the poor. A church whose shoulders are soaked from comforting the bereaved. A church whose face is scarred from intervening in attacks against the defenseless. A church whose knuckles are bloodied and bruised from fighting injustice. A church whose nails are torn and filthy from helping the most destitute climb out of their pits of despair. A church who reeks from embracing the unbathed, the drunk, the disposed. A church who has given and given and given until she doesn’t have the strength to walk down the aisle.

That is the bride that Jesus wants. Her beauty will not be found in her pristine appearance, but in her purity of heart and in her steadfast determination to love Him with everything she has. He will meet her on that wedding day and He will carry her to the celebration. Only then will He transform her into the rapturous beauty that far outshines all other brides.

Until then, let’s get dirty.


Posted by on January 22, 2013 in Beauty, God, Heaven, Mission/Aid work, Uncategorized


Tags: , , ,

22 responses to “The Dirty Bride

  1. alittlewhit

    January 22, 2013 at 1:35 PM

    Love this!

  2. Shelby Somers

    January 22, 2013 at 1:37 PM

    Yes. A bride that has done all out of love for her Groom. Who has been strengthened to do His work by His love for her and as a response to His grace in her life. Yes.

    • Anita Neuman

      January 22, 2013 at 1:39 PM

      Oh, that love and grace. There is nothing else.

  3. Miriam Rehfeldt

    January 22, 2013 at 1:38 PM

    Right on my friend… VERY PROFOUND and true.. Love you

  4. Tammy Bull

    January 22, 2013 at 1:47 PM

    You are a beautiful writer and an inspiring bride!

    • Anita Neuman

      January 22, 2013 at 1:49 PM

      As opposed to a beautiful bride and an inspiring writer? 🙂

      • Tammy Bull

        January 25, 2013 at 10:57 PM

        Yep! chose those words on purpose lady!

  5. Sue Balfour

    January 22, 2013 at 2:42 PM

    Wow again! You hit the nail directly on the head Anita.
    I only pray that I will be as dirty as possible the day Jesus comes for me.

  6. Sue Balfour

    January 22, 2013 at 2:43 PM

    By the way, you look gorgeous!

  7. Pauline

    January 22, 2013 at 4:41 PM

    I don’t feel nearly dirty enough yet

    • Anita Neuman

      January 22, 2013 at 4:48 PM

      Me neither. But I’m working on it…

  8. Clara

    January 22, 2013 at 6:30 PM

    Anita, I have enjoyed every one of your posts, but this one especially. Thank you so much for this portrait of our wedding day with Jesus. And it truly is a magnificent portrait painted by a truly magnificent artist.

  9. Anita Neuman

    January 22, 2013 at 6:40 PM

    Oh, thank you so much, Clara! You are such a sweet encouragement to me!

  10. Jill

    January 22, 2013 at 8:33 PM

    I do have one question for you…what is that terrible shade of lipstick I am wearing?

  11. brenda bamford

    January 23, 2013 at 12:37 PM

    My goodness……amazing!!!! Well said, Anita!!!!

    • Anita Neuman

      January 23, 2013 at 12:40 PM

      I imagine you jumping up and down and waving pom-poms, such is your enthusiastic encouragement. Oh, and doing the splits. Just because you like to show off that you can do the splits. Enough already!

  12. Jacquelyn Campbell

    January 25, 2013 at 5:31 PM

    I love how you brought that all around, I didn’t see it coming at all. It was like a parable with it’s explanation. Thank-you.


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