August 10, 1986. The sun had broken through the clouds and was shining brightly against a deep blue backdrop. Our wedding ceremony and reception aboard the Free Spirit, cruising through Chicago’s Burnham Harbor, had exceeded all my dreams. Brett had been dashing in his white tuxedo, our vows had been heartfelt, and there had been ample food, friends, and dancing. Plus an abundance of champagne.
I didn’t want the day to end. So when the boat docked, we decided to drive to an outdoor bar in Lincoln Park.
Brett and I led the procession on Lake Shore Drive, he in his tux and me in my flowing white gown. Cars honked at us along the highway. Naturally, I knew what the drivers were thinking. Such a radiant bride….her dress is gorgeous, her veil iridescent! Why, she should on the cover of Brides Magazine. I waved demurely, acknowledging such obvious admiration.
We pulled up to the bar and I opened the front door of our sedan. Then I gasped at what lay before me.
Apparently I had closed the car door ON my veil. And my beautiful veil, which I had borrowed from Katie, my bridesmaid, was black with tire marks.
Those cars had been honking, not in admiration of my beauty, but in horror at the destruction of a veil dragging along the highway, growing blacker with each mile.
So, not only did I have to show Katie the remnant of her lovely veil, I had to later spend more than the cost of my dress to have it repaired.
As I think back on that magical summer day, I am filled with joy. But I also chuckle at the plight of my poor veil whose tire marks I tried to conceal for the rest of the afternoon.
The Bible has a lot to say about humility.
“God resists the proud, but gives grace to the humble”
“All who exalt themselves will be humbled and those who humble themselves will be exalted.”
“Clothe yourself with compassion, kindness, humility, gentleness, and patience.”
What is true humility?
In his book, The Purpose Driven Life, Rick Warren says that “True humility is not thinking less of yourself; it is thinking of yourself less.”
My husband exhibits such humility. He engages people with genuine interest, asking more questions about their lives than offering information about his own. He gives of his time and his money without looking for recognition. He is compassionate and kind.
So I thank God for giving me Brett and for reminding me that the next time my ego takes flight, I may want to double-check that I am not dragging an heirloom veil across Lake Shore Drive.