My love and prayers to Aaron and Lisa. Thanks for the pixie dust and happy thoughts!
Humans are notoriously short-sighted creatures. We’re filled with expectations, plans, hopes, fears. . . yet the truth is we can’t see much beyond this moment.
Our vision becomes blurry quickly as we stare into the minutes ahead trying to discern what will happen and how it will affect us.
We don’t even know yet if it will rain today, or if Aaron will bust out into tears before the day is over, or if Lisa could possibly be any more beautiful than she is at this moment, or whether any of you will be doing the chicken dance tomorrow night . . .
This is why I (we all) love weddings: a decision has been made, a commitment to see what comes – to the adventure.
Together . . .
The commitment becomes the key. It is the known variable . . .
The commitment says, “Since this is true, then . . . ”
This reminds me of the poetry of the book of Genesis: God saw it was not good for man to be alone. So, the story goes, he took a rib from the man after causing him to fall into a deep sleep, and from that rib he formed woman.
Adam said, “you are bone of my bones and flesh of my flesh.”
God said, “for this cause shall a man leave father and mother and cleave only to his wife, and they shall be one flesh.”
I like that old-English word “cleave.” It has a sense of desperation to it. It means to cling. To stick. To not let go.
Commitment . . .
My favorite author is an 83-year-old Presbyterian minister from Vermont, Frederick Buechner. He says this about the idea:
Because the promises that are made in a marriage are not just promises to love the other when the other is lovely and lovable, but to love the other for better or for worse, for richer or for poorer, in sickness and in health, and that means to love the other even at half-past three in the morning when [one of you] is crying and to love each other with a terrible cold in the head and when the bills have to be paid. The love that is affirmed at a wedding is not just a condition of the heart but an act of the will, and the promise that love makes is to will the other’s good even at the expense sometimes of its own good – and that is quite a promise.
Aaron and Lisa, I really have only one question for you today . . . Is that the kind of promise you’ve made?
It’s quite a promise: A promise that doesn’t have the benefit of foreknowledge. That would be an easy promise to make.
They are promising to see together what life will bring.
They are promising to walk beside each other, to carry each other when need be; to love one another through and in spite of the unexpected.
I’ve already had the pleasure of watching a bit as they’ve done that while planning this event.
It’s a beautiful thing to watch.
Finally, then, I’m reminded of the poetry from the Song of Solomon with the Shulamite woman and her Beloved, and what she says to him about going to see what life will bring:
Come my Beloved, let us go out into the country. Let us spend the night in the villages. Let us go early to the vineyards. Let us see whether the vines have budded, if their blossoms have opened, and if the pomegranates are in bloom.
There I will give you my love. The mandrakes send out their fragrance, and at our door is every choice fruit, both new and old, which I have stored up for you, my Beloved.