The Wedding Shower

by Rhonda, August 07, 2022

I slid my Ghostbusters mug under the Keurig early on a Saturday morning.  I'm not a fan of moving quickly on Saturdays, but this particular morning required it.  I had a wedding shower to attend.  My cousin is getting married, and the women in our family had put together a brunch in a city a few hours away.  I needed to get my daughter moving, pick up my mother, and hit the road. 

But, not without my coffee or my Ghostbusters mug.

The gift for the bride-to-be had been bouncing around my mind for a few months.  My cousin and I aren't particularly close.  She is in her mid-twenties, so she's significantly younger than I am.  She has been away at grad school, and we haven't kept in touch.  I don't feel like I know her well enough anymore to know what she likes.

I checked out her wedding registry.  I could simply buy a gift off her registry and make my life easier, being sure I've gotten her what she wanted.  But, it all seemed so impersonal.  A set of pans, a random picture frame.  I could splurge and get some of the more expensive items, but how often does one really use a fondue set?

I closed out the wedding registry, and turned off my laptop.  My eyes scanned across the room and landed on my green quilt.

THE green quilt.

I want you to give it to her, God told me.

I wish I could tell you that I immediately loved the idea.  But, I mulled it over for several months.  What if she doesn't like green?  What if she doesn't want a quilt?   Will she care, or would she rather I buy her another cookware item from her registry?  Perhaps she's not into homemade gifts.

I thought of my grandmother.  All of the cousins received handmade gifts from my grandmother throughout our milestones.  She made us dish towels, quilts, or even Christmas ornaments when we got married, when we had kids, or even just as Christmas presents.  However, this cousin is significantly younger than the rest of us.  She doesn't have the homemade heirlooms from our grandmother, since she passed away when my cousin was younger.

I looked at the green quilt again. I'd never used it, it was still beautifully brand new.  A cheerful ribbon was wrapped around it.  I ran my hands across the quilting, looking at the vibrant fabrics.  I knew that regardless of whether she even wanted it or appreciated it, God would see the gift.  He would know the importance, so it didn't matter.  I had to decide I was going to be obedient to Him.

I walked into the shower with the quilt wrapped in a pretty box.  I set it on the gift table with the other gifts and chatted with the other women at the shower, over coffee and beautiful pastries.  As an introvert, I always struggle with large gatherings of people, but once I get there, I begin to relax and enjoy myself.  I talked with another of my cousins about all things related crafts, sewing, and other things we had in common.  I watched Leeza and my mother circulate about the room - something I rarely do.  I'm always looking for one-on-one conversations at these types of things.

Soon, the host called everyone's attention to be seated, and the bride to be began to open her gifts.  Her mother stood next to her, handing the gifts one by one.  She opened boxes of dish towels, serving trays, and picture frames.  They were all very nice, and she was gracious about receiving each of them.  I'm not sure why, but my gift was pushed towards the end of the table.  It was going to be the last to be opened.

I was nervous.  Every single other gift had come off her registry.  They were all muted colors, my quilt was vibrantly colorful.  They were all very modern in nature - a quilt was kind of old fashioned.  I held my breath as her mother announced, "Okay, this is the last one.  It is from Rhonda."

The room watched as she opened the box and removed the tissue paper.  As soon as she saw the quilt, she began to pull it out of the box.  When she realized what it was, she stopped and she dropped her head.  She began to sob.  Her mother came over and finished removing the quilt from the box, showing everyone in the party.  

She looked at me.  "It is absolutely beautiful."

I smiled and nodded. "I love you," I mouthed to her.  She dropped her eyes as they filled with tears again, and she took a few minutes to compose herself.  

"Are you taking any orders?" someone from the crowd asked.  I laughed and shook my head.  Pretty soon, the bride to be composed herself and the party moved onto a game of Scattergories.  But, I couldn't help but realize the impact of a small act of obedience to God. 

As I drove home, my mother said to me, "Can you believe your gift made her cry?".  

"No," I said.  "I was completely surprised."

I still don't know what touched her so deeply, but I would imagine it was that someone took the time to make her feel as special as my grandmother used to make all of us feel.  Instead of a dish, she received an heirloom. She received something a family member made with their own hands, and wanted to give specifically to her.

Acts 20:35  In everything I did, I showed you that by this kind of hard work we must help the weak, remembering the words the Lord Jesus himself said: ‘It is more blessed to give than to receive.'

I was far more blessed in the moment with her than I would have ever been by keeping the quilt.  If I had chosen to disobey God, I would have missed out on a tremendous blessing.  I was able to see my cousin's heart in the middle of the party, and a new connection is formed again between the two of us, bridging the gap time and distance have created.  

I'll never miss the quilt, but I'll always remember the moment my cousin received an unexpected gift at her wedding shower.

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