Photo by Abbey B.
“We’ll get right on it!” I replied. Other than my own kids (I grew up in a tradition where you prayed for your kid’s spouses from the get go), I wasn’t in the habit of petitioning God regarding spouses for friends. Scott got me started on a journey of prayer that has some incredible vistas.
And there was no magic involved. We prayed and we waited. After some time Scott introduced this beauty to me and I blurted out, “You are the answer to my prayers!” And I wept through his wedding, overwhelmed at God’s kindness to our friend.
Scott and his wife had a daughter. By this time Katie had entered into our (Scott’s family’s and our family’s) lives. And daughter #1 started praying every night, “and please, God, bring Katie a husband.” Daughter # 2 joined the family and joined the petition. Daughter # 3 climbed into the circle and chimed in. Daughter # 4 made a chorus. Katie’s deal with daughter #1 (you pray me a husband, I make you a flower girl) was grandfathered in to all four daughters. (They were joined by two nieces by blood, two nieces by love for what we called a Flower Girl Bouquet.)
We prayed and we waited. And we found ourselves, at last!, celebrating The Wedding. All the waiting distilled our joy into a fragrant essence.
The wedding day began with worship. Our congregation doubled with visiting family and friends. From the opening hymn, Holy, Holy, Holy, to the final Doxology the music soared. Our singing is normally solid and robust, but on Sunday it was a freight train! Singing the final verse of For All the Saints with folks from far lands was an amazing experience.
Through gates of pearl streams in the countless host,
Singing to Father, Son, and Holy Ghost:
The main focus for Katie and Jeff is community. The membership, as Wendell Berry puts it. The day was chosen so as many people could make it to a hard-to-get-there location. This was challenging, as their people span the globe. Four generations of family were there to witness the vows. The joy of a wedding is that, like a tablecloth gathered after a picnic, it brings together all the disparate but not disjoined parts of two lives and bundles them together. All the guests felt the blessing it was to be bundled together in such a lovely group.
Music marinated every surface of the celebration. There was the formal music of the ceremony: organ/piano duets; Children of the Heavenly Father; a small choir singing Non Nobis Domine with piano and organ. Katie came down the aisle to Beethoven’s Pathethique sonata arranged with a Doxology. First-class musicians saturated the reception with great performances. No DJ necessary, thank you very much!
Because words are so important to both Jeff and Katie, it is no shock that a tide of good words–benedictions –flowed back and forth. Blessings and thanksgivings, tears of joy and appreciation, great abounding love.
Laughter shellacked the festivities. The congregation laughed aloud when the kiss ended…and began again! We laughed as the couple left to the strains of young Meredith singing, “Hit the road, Jeff…”
Happy sigh. It was a richly celebrated wedding. To quote Eric Bibb, “Joy is my wine, love is my food, sweet gratitude the air I breathe.”