A Big Missed Opportunity
We arrived around 5:30pm last Friday night to a nearby church for senior prom pictures involving more than 50 excited seniors from Groves High School. Young men and women all dressed so beautifully for pictures with their friends and parents. "How did we get here so soon?" the parents asked each other, tears filling some eyes.
The air was a little chilly but the sweet girls, dressed in strapless dresses, pretended to not feel the inevitable goosebumps. They were determined to not be cold! I remember those days. No way was I going to put on a sweater and mess up my outfit!
Several groups split up, the theater troupe, the band friends, as everyone found their perfect places among the gorgeous spring trees just beginning to bloom and the hearty evergreens always so majestic. They also discovered some beautiful architecture, stairs, nooks and crannies of the church facade to create some spectacular pictures.
The young men and women, still fun and child-like, fumbled with each other's corsages as they attempted to not stab their dates with the massive pins. That never changes. So fun to see the timeless traditions of prom still alive and well.
Couples paired up, parents with children and group photos abounded. The cameras started popping; Facebook, Instagram and Twitter posts submitted simultaneously. Such a feeling of celebration, enjoyed by all.
And then it turned on a dime...... all of a sudden some church "officials" came outside. In not-so-nice energy, tone and words they let us know we could not be there. I was disappointed in their choice of delivery.
I get it that maybe we weren't allowed to use their premises. We have choices though in how we communicate our needs - healthy or not-so-healthy.
With more than 50 young adults and their parents, you might think a church would WANT to attract the crowd gathered there, to faith and God, yet they made the unconscious choice to possibly turn them off forever.
It was a big missed opportunity to reflect the love and grace of the divine onto all of us gathered there.
Even if the kids were not aware in the moment, they will remember that incident. Everyone remembers their prom.
The church officials even called the police! Two police cars arrived, although I have to say, it was not in any way a dangerous situation needing civic assistance.
They could have said: "You all look so wonderful and congratulations! I'm sorry, though, we really don't allow pictures here unless it is a member's event or a wedding so I'm afraid you'll have to leave. Have fun tonight!"
We have profound power to create or to destroy with our word. That's why it's so important to think, pause and take time before we speak so we have a better chance to project the energy of love instead of fear. The more aware and conscious we become, the easier it is to do, of course.
The first step is to slow down, breathe and look at why we're all really here in the first place: To Be Love and Enjoy Life.
In the long run, there's nothing else more to do than to be love.