The Dress

March 3, 2014

A parable for today

She searched and searched in the closet and just could not find the white linen dress.

She pulled everything out of the closet and just piled them on the bed.  “I know it is in there, I just saw it a few days ago!” She finally realized she had pulled everything out and still had not found the dress.

Time was almost up, the call had come that the wedding would be starting soon and if she didn’t hurry, she would be too late. What would the groom think?

Frustrated, she pulled another white dress out of the pile and decided to put it on.  At least it was white, and she was sure the groom would be OK with that.

As she headed out the door, her dog jumped up on her with feet wet from the dew.  Two brown spots now soiled the white dress.  With tears of frustration, she headed on to the car, no time to go change.  She hoped as they dried that the footprints would be able to be brushed off.

She drove up to an opulent building with sounds of music filling the air where the wedding was being held, and jumped out of the car.  A recent rain had left small puddles and a car that drove past splashed little muddy drops on her dress. Tears filled her eyes once again as she felt the hopelessness of the situation, yet she felt compelled to continue to the door.

She walked up to the lavishly decorated building and started to rush in, but a guard stopped her.  He said what is your name?  She told him and he searched the guest list and did not find it.

She cried out that he needed to find the groom because he would vouch for her.  “I am a part of the wedding party”, she cried.

“No, I don’t think so”, said the guard.” They are all dressed in linen white and clean”, as he eyed her soiled dress.

“Please” she cried,” go get the groom”.

The guard sighed and left for a few minutes.  He came back with the royal prince and asked if he could vouch for her.

The prince looked at the woman and said,” I am sorry lady, but I don’t know you, and no one can enter in clothing unfit for the royal wedding.”

Matt:25:11 “Afterward the other virgins came also, saying, ‘Lord, Lord, open to us!’ 12 But he answered and said, ‘Assuredly, I say to you, I do not know you.’

Matt:22:11 “But when the king came in to see the guests, he saw a man there who did not have on a wedding garment. 12 So he said to him, ‘Friend, how did you come in here without a wedding garment?’ And he was speechless.

Her head bowed low, she walked away, knowing she could not enter and mingle with the other guests in her now tawdry clothing.  She saw the prince warmly greet and lift up to embrace another guest who came hesitantly to the door and bowed on her knees before him.   She said she had been handed a white linen dress and told to come to the wedding.  She was not worthy and why was she being called to come?

Rev:19:7 Let us be glad and rejoice and give Him glory, for the marriage of the Lamb has come, and His wife has made herself ready.” 8 And to her it was granted to be arrayed in fine linen, clean and bright, for the fine linen is the righteous acts of the saints.

The prince told her he wanted to reward her kindness to him, that she had given him water when he was thirsty and food when he was hungry.

She said. “Your Majesty when did I do that?”

He told her, “Because you did it for others in my kingdom you did it to me.”

Matt:25:37 “Then the righteous will answer Him, saying, ‘Lord, when did we see You hungry and feed You, or thirsty and give You drink? 38 When did we see You a stranger and take You in, or naked and clothe You? 39 Or when did we see You sick, or in prison, and come to You?’ 40 And the King will answer and say to them, ‘Assuredly, I say to you, inasmuch as you did it to one of the least of these My brethren, you did it to Me.’

With bitter tears the woman in the soiled dress turned away, walking aimlessly as another car rushed past to soak her from head to toe with the dirty water from the street.  Her hair she had spent so much time on was now bedraggled and her dress totally soiled as she caught a glimpse of herself in a window. She strained to hear the sound of the music coming from the wedding party that she was not to be a part of.

She thought about how she had known to prepare for years for this royal wedding, and to spend more time getting to know the royal prince who had been seeking her for all this time.  She had been too busy and too sure he would understand.  She had a family to take care of!  He knew in her heart she wanted to be more involved, didn’t he?  There would be plenty of time to get to know him, because he had delayed the wedding, she had thought. Why had she not made sure?  Now it was too late.

She rounded the corner to see many more like her, men and women, being held back from returning to the front of the building where the wedding was being held.  It was dark and gloomy and they were all crying and pushing to get back out into the light.

Matt:22:13 Then the king said to the servants, ‘Bind him hand and foot, take him away, and cast him into outer darkness; there will be weeping and gnashing of teeth.’
14 “For many are called, but few are chosen.”

She sank to her knees, sobbed deeply, and then turned to look at me. Startled, I realized I was looking into my own face.

“Honey!  Honey!”  I heard next to me.  “Wake up!  You are crying in your sleep”.

I breathed a huge sigh of relief as I asked if I had not really missed the wedding supper.

“It was just a dream” my husband said, “please stop crying.”

As I shook myself awake, I asked my Father in heaven to wash me in the blood of the Lamb and make me clothed in fine linen, white and clean.  I asked that He trim my lamp with the oil of the Holy Spirit and I thanked Him for His longsuffering, loving-kindness toward me.

2 Pet:3:9 The Lord is not slack concerning His promise, as some count slackness, but is longsuffering toward us, not willing that any should perish but that all should come to repentance.

–Kathy Sanny

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