Friday, October 28, 2011

The Ties That Bind

Today I wore a tie for the third time this month.

I should preface this by saying that I am not a fan of wearing ties, or even of dressing up in general. But sometimes the situation or the occasion calls for it, and I, mostly not grudgingly, will comply.

The first time I donned a tie this month was for my sister-in-law's wedding. I had been asked to say a prayer for the happy couple during the ceremony. Not being officially part of the wedding party, I hadn't been instructed to wear any particular type of outfit, but a dress shirt and pants and a tie seemed appropriate, so that's what I wore. All in all, it went well. My prayer was scripted – I don't really do improv that well – but they seemed to like it. Not that I was saying it to them, but still...

The second time I was all tied up was two weeks later for our church's Night of Drama production. I was acting in one of the mini-plays – it was a live radio drama – and I was the Narrator. Since I was also the director of that particular play, I could have told myself to wear whatever I wanted, but it was a significant role, and somewhat a central character, so I figured I'd go all out and put on the old tie again (same one as the wedding two weeks prior, by the way). For the second time, I'd worn a tie for an event that brought people together as a family. That's how we think of ourselves, us drama folk. We're somewhat of a breed apart, I guess you could say. But we understand each other.

Today I wore a tie for the third and final time this month. The occasion was undoubtedly the least joyous of the trio, and yet it was the most joyous. I was attending the funeral of a 7-year old little girl who, after two brave years of fighting a vicious brain tumor, had lost the battle. I can hear you asking the question right now: how on earth could this be a joyous occasion? Good question. Short answer: It can't. On earth, that is. Lydia Byrd's family and friends will never again see her as she was in this life. But they will see her again – those who believe as she believed, at least – in the life to come, which is everlasting. Sweet Lydia is waiting there for our arrival. But she isn't missing us, not like we're missing her at least. She's got Jesus by her side. Today was a celebration of her life, and we cried together, we smiled because of who she was, and we rejoiced for her reunion with her Maker. And again, this was an occasion that brought together a disparate group of people as a family.

Today I didn't mind wearing that tie.

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