I keep my heart and my soul and my spirit open to miracles.
- Patrick Swayze
In a few weeks, my friend Ada is getting married in Sweden. I’ll be traveling to Stockholm soon for the wedding (and also to seek out some miracles abroad... wish me luck!).
Last month, I attended Ada’s bridal shower in New York. As some of you might know, a toilet paper wedding dress competition is the ultimate bridal shower game: The guests are divided into teams and given a couple of rolls of toilet paper. Each team then wraps up their designated model to create a fabulous (and very fragile!) wedding gown.
I must admit I get way too into these kinds of competitions. My sisters and I were the kinds of kids who made our Barbie dolls clothes out of tissues, paper towels, scrap fabric, spare buttons and lots and lots of Scotch tape. So I was up for a challenge! My team opted for a mermaid-style dress, while the other team went for a classic Grecian look.
We only had 10 minutes to wow the judge–a.k.a. the bride–so we had to think quickly. I grabbed a bunch of wrapping paper that had been discarded in the corner of the room after Ada had finished opening her gifts. It was technically garbage, yes, but my days designing doll clothes had taught me nothing should go to waste. So I attached it to the bottom of our gown to create a big poof. My friend and teammate Rebecca gave our model an over-the-the top headpiece and off-the-shoulder sleeves to rival any ’80s prom queen.
The other team? Their creation was more stylish, yes. It actually looked like something you might be able to wear. There were a lot of oohs and ahhs when it was unveiled. When our design was revealed, everyone laughed. But we weren’t deterred. It was up to the bride to decide. “Which one do you like better?” we asked Ada.
“Hmmm,” she said, trying to be diplomatic. “This is really hard.”
“Well, our dress is a bit ahead of its time,” I said, casually. “Cutting edge. Something you’d only find in Paris, for sure.”
“Couture,” Rebecca agreed. “High fashion.”
We were joking, of course. I mean, our model could hardly walk in it and the bottom trumpet was falling apart. But the weird thing? From where I was standing, I was suddenly struck by how stunning our creation actually was. Were my eyes just playing tricks? Or was this toilet paper art?
That toilet paper wedding dress reminds me in a strange way of miracles. You can look at it and just see toilet paper. Or you can look beyond that and see something more. A masterpiece.
So many little things happen on any given day. The subway doors opening just in time for you to sneak in. An old friend calling out of the blue. A plate of chocolate chip cookies that appears just when you’re craving something sweet. You can look at all those tiny moments as small, ordinary, nothing. Or, if you look a little deeper, open your eyes to wonder, you will uncover a world more miraculous than you could have ever imagined.
In the end, when it came time for Ada to finally pick a winner, the race was close. But it was that unusual toilet paper mermaid dress, in all its unraveling glory, that struck her fancy and won the competition.
Have you ever flipped your perspective and discovered something wondrous? Share your story below! And don’t forget to follow Lunch-Break Miracles on Twitter: @lunchmiracles.
Diana Aydin is an associate editor for Mysterious Ways magazine. When she was just a little kid, she got her first dose of the miraculous. She’s been on the lookout for miracles ever since. Her favorite time of the day is lunch time, when she gets to step away from the workaday world and enjoy a bit of God’s wonder, if only for an hour!