3rd September 2011

 

There comes a time in most fathers’ lives when they get to see their first child married!

I had this privilege last Saturday! See this one minute clip: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=RQcZ_vXfnXA

More than this, I got to stand in front of my son and his new bride; look them both in the eyes, and tell them that I love them and that I am proud of them. It makes my eyes water thinking about it!

I was there to see the beginning of the journey of two fantastic young people, whose destinies now joined will build something special, and to know that I will get to enjoy it with them; be part of both their struggles and victories; their laughter, and yes, their tears; of their comings and goings. Irrespective of where they end up, they will always be treasured in my heart and enjoyed.

This is the true celebration of family: that everyone in ‘family’ shares in some important way in all that the family does. Family is more than blood; it is heart, as was evidenced by all those friends from near and far, who stepped up to volunteer their help, asking nothing, but present at our side as we joined together to make it a special day. My heart swells with unspoken thanks.

Jean Anouilh wrote in “The rehearsal”: The object of art is to give life to shape

Marriage, like each family, is a work of divine art.

Marriage is more than two people agreeing to share their future. Marriage is the welding of two into one as Genesis says. Even the words, “leave and cleave” do not go far enough in describing what God does in marriage, and how he sees it!

Get the picture of a sculptor bending over a piece that only he has seen; alone in his studio morning till night, shaping; forming; positioning it; melding it into one unit – yet, this barely defines what marriage is.

Since God authors marriage, God completes marriage.

Have you also heard definitions of love rattled off in a wedding ceremony like sausages from a sausage machine, and could barely restrict a yawn?

Consider this: it was at a wedding 35 years ago that God ‘found’ me. The preacher, my father in the faith, Dudley Daniel, preached for 12 minutes on those few “love” verses in 1 Corinthians 13, and I was stilled deeply in my heart by those words. I could not move. It was my first visit to a protestant church, and those scriptures transfixed me; stopped me in my tracks, and the way was open for me into a life of service to God.

Should we not then, dwell more carefully on what it means to love another and to be loved by God? Should we not patiently describe the ‘work of art’ that God’s divine love does in each marriage? Should we not honor what the recorded scriptural events say about it?

Yes, let us rather linger where the fragrance dwells. No harsh words can survive there; no scathing remarks; and no constant reminders of past mistakes. No rejection of past commitments can ascend that throne; no dishonoring acts of betrayal remains somehow unhealed. This is a place where we can learn to see each other through the filter of that divine all-consuming love. In an instant, anger can be swept away; pain healed, and forgiveness let out like the opening sluice gates of a dam long held back. This love has the power to shut out the dark, and shatter every arrow sent to destroy it! This love can recover lost moments, and heal wounded hearts. This love is worthy of our whole attention – more so – of our whole lives!

Keep on. Loys