The old barn had never been so festive. It was filled with decorated tables and little accent lights. Adorning the walls were country decor and standing below the art stood the caterers ready to serve the guests at their appointed time. But right now the center of attention rested solely on the beautiful bride slowly walking down the aisle with her daddy. As they drew near the rustic stage, the groom stepped down and took her hand in his. But not before the father kissed his daughter on the cheek as if to say to the nervous groom, “I’m releasing her to you.” It was the final moment a father and daughter would share the same last name. It had been Frey for 25 years but today, the bride would become a Harrison.
The young woman who now stood before me was like a second daughter to my wife and me. She is the best friend of our own daughter and early on had asked me to perform her wedding one day. That day had finally arrived this Memorial Day weekend.
The best part of performing a wedding ceremony is you get the best seat in the house, literally. You see what the groom sees; a breathtaking bride radiating confidence, excitement, and adoring love. Sometimes I feel embarrassed that I am imposing on such a sacred an intimate moment. As if this pairing of hearts would best be viewed from a distance with a shaft of filtered light casting its glow only on them. An audience of two just for God.
Yet as I looked upon the bride, I saw love at it’s finest. There was no hesitation with the vows, each promised to be faithful through sickness and health, good and bad. I have performed countless weddings, but this one gave me great confidence. I know it will last. They came to this little country barn prepared. They carried three things in their heart: God, love, and trust. The three strands that makes any relationship strong and lasting.
I kept my message brief but offered this counsel. Never stop dating each other, always make each other laugh at least once a day, and always strive to affirm and respect each other daily.
I wish you could have been where I stood Sunday. For I was in the presence of God. In a little barn in central Tennessee a couple pledged their undying love to each other in front of family and friends. My eyes conveyed what my heart could not. I shed a few tears because for a brief moment, everything in the world was alright and I’d forgotten what that felt like. No wonder my heart was happy.