Sunday, October 26, 2014

Faithfulness

Under a tall steeple on a sun-kissed summer afternoon, we watched a young groom, smiling through tears, join hands with his bride. We listened to their promises to share a lifetime, grateful for the reminder of our own vows and the gift of fresh chapters and love new.

 
Today, the steeple was framed against a dark autumn sky, and we ducked into the church under a wet umbrella, dressed in black. The groom who greeted us was white-haired, and although his words of welcome were gracious, his smile, too, was streaked with tears. We were gathered to close a chapter,  look back on the life of his bride with whom he had shared 62 years.

Rain streaked the arched windows, and the young couple whose summer wedding we had witnessed from those same pews now sat behind us, fingers-interwoven. We sang "The Old Rugged Cross" and "Amazing Grace," and we cried and laughed, both, as memories of this beautiful woman were shared.  But another thread was woven through this service of remembrance of her life, and it was the beauty of marriage...her life shared. This lovely soul's final years were difficult ones, yet her husband's tenderness and faithfulness were recounted again and again by those in that sanctuary.

After the Lord's Prayer, we gathered around tables set with the last of autumn's flowers, dahlias rescued from the rain. We shared stories and a meal, marveling at the privilege of gathering to remember a life well lived and the beauty of steadfast love. As we walked out into the storm afterwards, I thought back to that summer wedding so full of hope and new promises. What a gift it was to us to be reminded today that, by God's grace, the last chapter of a marriage can be as beautiful as the first.



3 comments:

Sandy said...

Beautiful!

Betsy Jo said...

Smoething beautiful made even more so by your loving words...

Anonymous said...

once again Ri your gift is used to bless and bring into focus the gifts HE gives. Again...you should expand your audience, and WRITE A BOOK!