Saturday, August 23, 2008

Going to the Chapel

They have gathered from all over for this wedding. It is an amazing thing to watch family and friends gather for a happy occasion. There is both genuine excitement and anxiety for lots of different reasons. From make-up, tux fits and shoes to how members of different families and groups will get along. Some people are meeting for the first time and others haven’t seen each other in years.

I have known Annie since she was a baby. She and Josh have been together for five years. They are two of the kindest people I have met and it is a genuine privilege to officiate at their wedding. It is a gift to be with friends that we haven’t had a chance to be with in a long time. And it is bittersweet, at some moments, knowing that in the midst of the grand coming together are the vestiges of broken families and relationships and diverging roads and lives. It makes me wonder how one ceremony can draw broken strands from the four winds and recombine for a new reality. Only time will tell how today’s event will play out on the stage of the complexities of families and connections.

So I enter this moment with prayer and hopefulness, asking God to do what humans cannot – find creative ways to knit us together, the colors and complexities, the distant and the near –so that we might all be blessed by the gifts we have to share. Not a one of us is perfect, and almost everyone at the gathering today has had past conflict with someone else present. And yet, there is still more – more days, more possibilities and more connections to be made. So may this day be one of being open to new capacities despite past failures and losses. There is so much God can do with the broken bits of our lives. And on a day when two people are taking the risk to commit to one another for ever, well, it seems time for us all to try anew to find ways to reconnect for the living and the future.