Out of the hundred or so guests, I only knew a handful of folks. The bride is a great niece, literally and descriptively. So, of course I knew my nephew and his wife and their youngest daughter. Our son and daughter-in-law and our daughter and her husband came; so did my brother and his wife. And I recognized a few faces from many, many years ago.
Melancholy and joy, happiness and regrets, wonder and gratitude – memories of other weddings and prayers for the future of marriages represented colored all the impressions I took in. This day became an unexpected Ebenezer. (1 Samuel 7:12)
My niece, (a more a possessive description than our relationship ever was), and her husband exchanged vows and celebrated their marriage at a comfortable old country club in northern Baltimore County. And because Maryland’s spring is about three or four weeks behind Texas’ we beheld dogwoods, daffodils, and azaleas – nature’s delightful rewind of the most hopeful of seasons.
A shower had threatened earlier, but the sun dried up its remnants, and a rainbow emerged at the time friends were toasting the bride and groom – prompting guests to scurry outside and record the event on the innumerable smart phones and cameras. One younger guest asked his dad if they could go and hunt the gold. My nephew confided he had to get a second mortgage just for that display.
Candles may have been on the table, but the glow of our hand-held devices was truly what illuminated us! The wedding photographer waited good-naturedly for us to look up so she take pictures of us. Never have I seen so many photographers – or have have I been so torn to put my camera down and look at the faces before me.
Serendipitously, a few days later, a You Tube video rebuked me:
Put your hands on your head – stand away from the phone
I am glad I did put my phone down – occasionally -- and enjoyed so many moments. But I am also glad for the pictures I took. Most I deleted – but the ones I kept remind me the Lord has been good to me. For the brief moment this wedding was, I saw the top part of my life’s canvas, and, from what I often feel is a jumble of threads, I saw an outworking – a purpose -- that has been bigger than my will.
God! I hope I remember that!