I had the privilege of witnessing the marriage of a young lady I have watched grow from her childhood years. She has had struggles, no doubt. Those struggles, however, have contributed to her growth as a woman of great integrity, perseverance, compassion, and love. I pray I shared in those years of struggle in a way that helped her grow into the strong, lovely woman she is today. I am grateful to have walked with her and witnessed her growth. And, I am grateful to have witnessed her wedding day, a day that marks a new beginning in her life with the one she loves. She has joined her life with a wonderful young man who brings her happiness and joy. I remember meeting him in the “Strip District.” She introduced her then boyfriend to my wife, my daughter, and I with obvious adoration in her eyes. He showed the same adoration for her in his actions toward. It was a short and pleasant introduction, but it felt like a little more. I walked away feeling as though I had witnessed a moment of celebration between them. Their wedding was an even greater moment of celebration, not just for them but for their families and friends as well. We witnessed their like-mindedness in the music we heard. We witnessed their united compassion as they gathered socks for the homeless while celebrating the “bridal sock hop dance.” We witnessed the beauty of mutual adoration and love that surrounded their every movement and glance. Each person present witnessed the joy of their love, their warmth and companionship. Truly, this day marked a new beginning in their lives…and I’m am so excited for them. Later, as I contemplated the joy of their wedding celebration and the beauty of their love, a Native American Wedding Prayer came to mind. I offer this prayer for their lives together:
Now you will feel no rain, for each of you will be a shelter to the other.
Now you will feel no cold, for each of you will be warmth to the other.
Now there will be no loneliness, for each of you will be a companion to the other.
Now you are two persons, but there is only one life before you.
Go now to your dwelling place, to enter the days of your togetherness.
May beauty surround you both in the journey ahead and through all the years,
And may you days be long and good upon the earth.