Yesterday, in a little church in Vermont, a person stood up and introduced his beautiful (inside and out) bride of 45 years. After, during a surprise gathering for a meal they cut and devoured a replica wedding cake (made by my very artistic and creative niece), they toasted, they dined and they celebrated. For a surprise gift from their sweet daughter, they spent the rest of the time celebrating at the Wildflower Bed & Breakfast in Londonderry, Vermont. In case you were wondering, this is what 45 years of marriage looks like:
respect, kindness, humor, love, happiness, tears (a lot more happy than sad), honor, religion, steadfast, fun, surprising, calm, dreams, committed, dedicated, patriotic, loyal, intelligent, value, safe, honesty, silliness, sharing, concern, a smidgen of frustration, best friends, pure goodness and the list continues……………..
The next time a young couple asks you “what’s the big deal with tradition, why should we have a piece of paper that says we are married? It’s not that important, it is old-fashioned, it’s just a piece of paper.” Tell them how good and strong and full of Grace a solid old-fashioned marriage looks like. Tell them what a 45-year-old piece of paper looks like. I can tell you a little bit. It looks wrinkled and a bit rough. It looks weathered and marked. The paper feels soft from use. It is faded from where a few tears have fallen. It has been crumpled where you have “grabbed it and crushed it to your heart in celebration and relief”. When you look at a piece of paper like that, you will wish it was your treasure to tuck into your cedar chest.
“…and the two shall be called one…” Matthew 19:5