Today’s Word: ‘Wedding’ as in… all kinds of things should happen at a wedding. Leaving everyone speechless should be one of them.
I recently had the opportunity to officiate at a wedding for a sweet young couple – one of five weddings on my calendar that hadn’t been postponed. In the presence of the gathering of loving friends and family on this beautiful sun-drenched afternoon and surrounded by a surprisingly luminous pine forest left me both speechless as well as wanting to thank the long-gone visionary who, a generation ago, planted seeds that would eventually grow into a forest of strength and elegance, bringing blessing to all who would come after.
I reminded the guests that one of the most important things NOT to do at this or any other wedding, is to spectate. Family and friends don’t gather to ‘watch a couple’ get married. We’re not invited to simply ‘endure’ one more wedding in June. On the contrary, we come together to participate in a movement of courageous love and extravagant grace among people. This movement, as we enter in and participate in it, creates deep relational momentum that each of us carries back to our own particular communities. Coming together like this is like dropping a stone in a pool. What happens should leave you speechless.
“You can’t just watch this and be unchanged, untouched,” I tell them. “You can, however, become part of a relational movement, taking something you hear, something you feel, something you experience in this very moment and use it to change whatever part of the world you return to after being here.”
Not fully convinced that they had completely understood what was welling up in me at that moment, given everything we’ve been through recently, I turned the gem a bit more:
“By being here together today, we can learn to be better, different, more courageous in our relationships; convinced more deeply than ever that love wins, no matter what. We can be better, different, more courageous, more deeply convinced that how we live with and love one another matters now more than ever.”
I wanted to leave that couple along with their families and friends speechless. But at the same time I wanted to create a deep sense of gratitude in each of them for visionaries in each of their lives who, a generation ago, planted seeds of love and courage that have grown into a dense forest of strong and elegant relationships that bring blessing to everyone who follows after them. That should leave us speechless.
That’s what should happen at a wedding.