“Lost” Bride

A wedding was for all to enjoy – and this one was well remembered. A young man from close to the mission station church had made all the arrangements to marry a young lady from a village a little over a mile away. Both of them, as well as their parents were Christians and attended the church regularly.

The wedding day arrived. The time set was for early afternoon, about one o’clock or so. Guests – and onlookers! – arrived and assembled in the church. The groom and his “bashindikiji” (literally, those who push but in this case ‘those who accompany’) came in and made their way forward to stand before the pastor.

But no bride came! Wait, and wait and wait. Someone was sent to find out what was happening. He returned. “She is coming” he announced.

Again, wait and wait and wait some more. Finally she arrived and slowly made her way in, with her girl-friend “bashindikiji” and, using a slow “bride step” made her way to the front.

The ceremony then began – more than an hour later than planned! – and the job done. Slowly, now, both the bride and groom made their way down the aisle and outside to receive the greetings of those in attendance.

What had happened? What caused the bride’s delay? She was ‘on time’ getting ready but that walk to the church of over a mile, at that slow ‘bride step’ made her late. After all, all dressed up for the occasion, she had to make sure that anyone along the way as she came from her village had every right to see her in her wedding finery.

Today, however, that’s not a problem. A vehicle would have brought the bride from such a distance – times change.

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