Artist’s Lane: A tear in the bride’s eye

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    By Betty Slade
    PREVIEW Columnist

    Bill McCartney is the former head football coach at the University of Colorado. He is also the founder of Promise Keepers, a ministry for evangelical Christian men which teaches them how to be the spiritual leaders of their families.

    He once told a group of men, “If you want to know what kind of husband you are, look into your wife’s eyes.”

    You may be shocked to know that he said this after looking at his wife, seeing a face full of sadness. 

    It was in that moment that McCartney realized he had not been a good husband. He had not treated his bride the way she deserved to be treated. 

    I wonder what God sees when he looks into the face of His bride, the image he uses to describe the church. 

    For the past few months, I have spent many an hour on my knees in prayer. Admittedly, most of that time has been filled with sadness in my heart as I look at the hostile condition of the world.

    You don’t have to look in too many corners of this world to see where men and women of faith are being censored or canceled. In some circumstances, there are those who are being called terrorists because of their beliefs. Worse yet, persecuted. 

    We are told in the Bible that this will be how things play out. That said, it makes me wonder if we are living out the mystery of the last days or if today is just a precursor of things to come. 

    The bride, the church, is not spotless. We have a lot of blemishes that need to be worked on before we are unveiled at the marriage feast. Even with that said, why would anyone fear us? Or, worse yet, hate us. 

    If we call ourselves Christians, shouldn’t that mean we reflect the one who loves us? Is the image on our face, one that is filled with compassion? Sadly, and all too often, it is not. 

    I am realizing our eyes are clouded, preventing us from seeing a more picturesque view of ourselves. Perhaps that is the reason we don’t reflect the beauty of our bridegroom. Our view of him is likely eclipsed by a visual of despair and misery that we choose to stay concentrated on. Maybe it is even a view of how we unknowingly portray ourselves to others. 

    In order to reflect optimism and hope, we need to see with heaven-bound eyes. Through faith, we must pull back the veil and see the real story behind today’s news, man’s attempt to erase the treasure that has been promised us. And that battle is not ours to focus on. 

    In a letter to Ephesus, the Apostle Paul wrote, “God made known to us the mystery of His will, according to His kind intention, which He purposed in Him with a view to an administration suitable to the fullness of the times, that is the summing up of all things in Christ …” — Ephesians 1:9,10 (NASB).

    The scripture stopped me as if I read it for the first time. It says to me that God is solving the mystery of His will. He has purposed a view of the present day that will bring a fullness in times. Although we may not understand or even desire the view we have today, it is all part of His plan as he prepares for the day of His return. 

    There is the spiritual bride and the physical bride. They work hand in hand. I can see in my own marriage of 61 years, God is still working on me to be a good wife to my Sweet Al. No, it is not always easy, but we are both being changed, and being prepared as spiritual brides for the true lover of our souls.

    Final brushstroke: There is sadness in the eyes of so many people in the world today. But it is not because of mistreatment that comes from God, but the turmoil created out of the darkness of man’s heart. Fortunately, we can look beyond that, to reflect the face of the one who is to come, the one who will deliver us. And if not now, it will be on that day that our face will reflect the undeniable glory of the One who has come for us. 

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