Posted by: rongeri | August 27, 2011

Aisles: A Father’s Thoughts

Aisles are everywhere, and we usually don’t take notice of them unless they are crowded or blocked. Costco, Whole Foods, Macy’s, Trader Joes, Saks, Neiman Marcus, Sports Authority, the Pikes Place Fish Market, all have aisles. Parking lots have aisles. Theaters have aisles. Trains have aisles. Buses have aisles. Planes have aisles. But outside of those transportation related aisles, the one I most frequently traverse every Sunday is for praise and worship in church.

I am starting to look at the aisles in church a bit differently now. At least to me, church aisles seem to be getting bigger, growing in length, and narrowing in breadth between pew rows. Why? Because, to borrow a phrase from an Andre Crouch spiritual, “soon, very soon” my princess will become a queen, meeting King Sean at the altar of Holy matrimony, and as father of the bride, I will be walking her down the aisle to a hand off at the altar. And instead of moving down the aisle at a brisk pace to an usher suggested seat next to a sister wearing a Sunday hat at church service, I find myself thinking of moving at a much statelier pace. More like a glacier during a true ice age.

Yes, that’s the speed with which I would be very comfortable. (Actually, glaciers move more quickly than is commonly thought, and if I were to try to emulate one, the effects of global warming would be nothing compared to the thermal nuclear glare I would get from Geri, and the supernova glare I would get from Kim that would have me looking less like a smiling father of the bride and more like a Jeremiah looking Denzel in The Book of Elimovie.

So perhaps the correct pace for moving down an aisle in church with your daughter as the bride is more akin to the leisurely pace of a stroll along the cloisters of Westminster Abbey or that observed during a recent royalty event in the sanctuary itself. And though churches such as that one, or Saint Patrick’s in New York City, or the Riverside Church, or the Cathedral of St. John the Devine have aisles whose length could remind you of a track and field event memorialized in a Bud Greenspan Olympic highlight film, I find the one I will soon be walking down seems to resemble the length of a 600 yard par 5 hole on a golf course, the pedestrian/bike lane of a bridge or the Lincoln Tunnel.

The last time I traversed an aisle in church for a wedding with a woman at my side was at the wedding after Geri and I got married, and we were going back up the aisle rather than down it. So, I don’t have a lot of wedding aisle practice. And I have been advised that I don’t need a lot of practice, I just have to get it right once, with no tripping or stepping on Kim’s bridal gown or the minister’s feet at the altar. And I in turn will be reminding the one I will be escorting that the tune to which we are moving will be “Here Comes The Bride” not “Here Runs The Bride.” When Geri was coming down the aisle on her dad’s arm at our wedding, he said to her “One of us is shaking and it’s not me”. I suspect that I will not be saying that to Kim, but rather, she will be saying it to me. But it’s not the walk down the aisle that matters most but rather the vows at the altar and the walk into a shared life together that is the most important. And I feel that as the praise has gone up, the blessings will be flowing down

 on our new son-in law Sean and his bride, our beloved daughter Kim.

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