“Therefore a man shall leave his father and mother and hold fast to his wife, and the two shall become one flesh. This mystery is profound, and I am saying that it refers to Christ and the church.” –Ephesians 5:31-32
As you know, of course, Saturday was wedding day.
Days have passed but I remain distracted and disoriented by scenes that wisp along of the edges of my thoughts. Adrenaline continues to seep into my bloodstream and makes sleep difficult and tears fast coming. Those few precious hours linger in technicolor. All the emotion that stayed tamped down for the sake of lists and errands and execution now refuses to be contained.
Perhaps this is what happens when one runs headlong into your glory. Thinking back it feels like that day was more about you than the daughter we gave away.
All day long I breathed your scent and tasted your flavor. Your holy celebratory presence invaded the day as you graciously drew the curtain between heaven and earth onto a thin place. The thinnest I’ve yet to experience.
Yes, you showed up in glory. Friday night you timed a big ol’ beautiful strawberry moon. The peonies found last minute at Trader Joe’s, the favorite ones we thought were out of season, it was your hand that tucked them in the bouquet. Only you could have scattered fresh hay bales, a simple secret delight, just so about the chapel. And it was your love that tied together all the messy stories upon stories of our friends and family who gathered. You gave us bread and wine to remember who we are and whose we are.
But to me, it was the covenant that shimmered brightest. The essence of your brilliant mystery came as my daughter and her new husband publicly dedicated themselves to each other and to you.
With fresh eyes, I see how you use the story of marriage to bury anchors of experience to help us comprehend your perfect plan.
Remember the tender scene of my new son, the bridegroom waiting at the altar for the doors to open up on his bride? It feels absolutely too holy to describe, but I pray to remember that moment until I take my last breath.
And I know Jesus stands in glory even more ready, waiting for us, his bride. This parallel is what wrecks me this week. Oh, Father, I am learning that a taste of your glory can be devastating. It leaves me desperately longing for more of you. More of your glorious presence. A glimpse that will never fade. This taste you shared has made me ravenous for the eternal wedding day you have planned for us.
But until then, time is cruel and Saturday did not last forever. Days later I confess, the aftermath of such a foretaste is….a bummer. The earthly tether jerked us down with abrupt speed and I’m still dizzy and reeling from the drop. The bride and groom race away. Immediately hydrangeas droop, trash piles up, dresses wrinkle, people go home and fatigue weighs a thousand pounds. A disappointing sadness sets in over those who didn’t come, an untimely surgery, a missed conversation. I want to go back and capture more moments, in my heart and on my phone’s camera. I missed the bouquet toss and I want to hold on to my girl one more time.
Your presence and design mix with the earthly limits of our humanity and Paul nailed it to say the mystery is profound. I am so grateful for the chance to celebrate in our bodies as well as in our spirits and I long with a deeper hunger to see you face to face.
You are certainly a good listener. I’m thankful you are still here, in the faithful more quiet manner of ordinary days. You didn’t fade or leave and you have enough energy to hold me up. Glory of a different flavor, you are good all the time.
These things—the beauty, the memory of our own past—are good images of what we really desire; but if they are mistaken for the thing itself they turn into dumb idols, breaking the hearts of their worshipers. For they are not the thing itself; they are only the scent of a flower we have not found, the echo of a tune we have not heard, news from a country we have never yet visited.”
― C.S. Lewis,