100 percent chance of rain. All day. And Florida cold–damp that cuts right to the bone.
It was my daughter’s wedding day. The last of our six children to be married.
The rain was a downer; the venue was about an hour and a half from our home. Most of those attending would be traveling at least that far. Driving through the dark and dreary could have been quite depressing. My fear was folks wouldn’t come because of the inconvenience and distance.
We’d planned this day, this event, for months. Disappointment loomed.
But this was a day of celebration and joy when my daughter Debbie would marry the love of her life, Taylor.
We arrived at the venue early to get everyone ready. Besides ten bridesmaids and ten groomsmen, we had three flower girls and four ringbearers to outfit. Our little circus needed to be attired appropriately.
What was amazing was the number of friends who chose to come early, drive the distance in those conditions, to help prepare the venue for the wedding. Tables needed to be set up, chairs distributed, centerpieces positioned. A few friends made a beautiful arch of greenery that scented the whole area with eucalyptus.
There was much to be done, but these special people made it happen.
The photographer and her assistant moved through the day, capturing memories, setting up shots that would reflect all the work that was going on, all the people involved. Memories with faces of friends and family dearly loved and deeply appreciated.
The rain never quit.
I was worried there would be too many empty seats; I wasn’t sure I’d have been willing to come if it hadn’t been my daughter getting married.
But as we prepared to walk down the aisle, I was stunned by those who’d braved the weather. Seats were filled; friends and family waited.
Walking down the aisle on the arm of my son, I could scarcely contain my gratitude. Friends beamed at me as I passed, a little hand wave here, a happy head bob there.
People showed up.
The ultimate joy, though, was watching the face of my daughter as she walked a path to her new life, smiling at the man we’ve all come to know and love. I glanced back at Taylor’s face and saw a beautiful tenderness there that touched my heart.
They were married.
It didn’t matter what the weather was like or how long the drive had been. What was spectacular was watching my daughter get married among friends and family who had made the choice to be there.
Life doesn’t always work out the way I’d like it to. No matter how much planning and preparation goes into an event, nothing turns out exactly as I expected. That’s what living in a fractured world does–it disappoints.
Jesus surrounds us with people who are part of our journey, as He is. People who step out of their comfort zones to love us, who sacrifice convenience for the relationship.
Just as He sacrificed Himself for us out of love and commitment that surpasses comfort. He made the choice to show up. For us.
Could there be any better words of wisdom for a newly married couple?