I went to a wedding today. It was the kind of wedding that made the world stand still. November sunshine filtered in through stained glass windows, and leaves were losing a war with gravity.
I don't remember anything about the wedding, except:
the way she stared at him endlessly
and the way he kept caressing her hands
and the way she smiled and cried at the same time.
There was one sentence that left me frozen in a moment:
"May she boast only in his character..."
And from the second row I disappeared in thought, wondering if I were to die today, what would be my legacy? What kinds of stories would be told at my funeral? And in the years to come, what would be the memories of my children?
Perhaps some would tell about my faith in action, or the passion behind my sermons. Maybe I would be remembered for helping friends in need, or offering unrequited counsel. I guess funerals have a way of deifying very broken people.
And how did my mind wander from a wedding to a funeral? What is it about watching a bride stare at her groom, that makes us think about the sanctity of moments and the death of one life to the birth of another and then the inevitable "'til we are parted by death" ~ (a sobering resolution) ~
I remembered June 9, 2001. As a crowd gathered in the sanctuary, I was sitting outside behind the church with my dad and my brother, talking about nerves and nearly fainting! I also remember the massive trees outside the Berean Church, and wondering about how my soon-to-be bride was holding up... I remember meditating on Psalm 1, and wanting to be "like a tree, planted by the rivers of water..."
While I watched him put a ring on her finger, I thought about how I want to be remembered:
As a man who walked with a limp, and loved without restraint. Nothing more, and nothing less.