Since last I posted, about five or six hours ago, I've been to a wonderful wedding and an even better reception. The wedding was for a young woman at my church that I've known for a dozen years. Her parents and I have been friends during the time I've attended this church, serving on various committees together, cooking for the youth group frequently and for other events such as Bible school or chili cook-offs. Her mom and I play handbells together and her dad and I have worked on several evangelism and mission projects.
Weddings are always weepy events, but more so when you've watched the bride or groom grow up from a grade-school kid to a wondrous adult, ready to start a journey with a partner we all pray will be the love of their lives, for the rest of their lives. I think this couple has everything going for them. The bride's mom and dad have been married 30 years this year. There's a strong faith community standing behind them, ready and willing to help them launch this marriage as smoothly as possible.
The bride and her two sisters have been part of the church since they took their first breaths. Their family vacations have always involved mission trips, serving the most needy in the world. They've built concrete block houses, taught Bible school in Spanish on trips to Belize and Mexico, reaching out in love. At home, they've been reading tutors and teachers for Sunday schools and vacation Bible school. Both parents have always involved them in the projects they've worked on. And because of that, they have enthusiastic love and compassion springing out of their very pores.
So it was a joyous celebration to witness the marriage of the first of these three delightful sisters.
After the ceremony, the party started at Coles Garden, across the road from the Cowboy and Western Heritage Museum. There was the buffet dinner, the chocolate fountain with skewered fruit, pretzels and marshmallows (the hit of the party!), and all the extras.
The dance floor was filled all night after the arrival of the bride and groom and their first dance. My dancin' shoes got a good breaking in, with the jitterbug, the twist, disco dancing and just general aerobic silliness. It was a blast! Everyone from 3-year-olds to the bridal party's grandparents got up and let it shake. Absolute joy ruled the night!
Before I left the church tonight, I had a moment of reflection about all that had taken place there this week. We've celebrated the life of a departed elder, witnessed the union of a husband and wife, shared the Lord's supper together. Tears of sorrow and of happiness have flowed freely there this week. New life and old, dancing babies and dancing grannies.
Life is good. It continues on its way, as it should, bringing us the fullness of the human experience.
I'm a little afraid I may catch myself dancing in the choir loft in the morning.