I wrote a little note to read at the reception of two friends of mine who were married a couple of weeks ago.  This is a pair who I love and who happen to be on a terribly enchanting honeymoon right this minute in the forests and mountains of western Canada, being, as they have always been - both independently and together - adventurous and appreciative of every little small thing.   They are among my host of favorites and have generously given me permission to share this with you.  Thanks, friends. 


There is a little shop in Moab, Utah that sells crafts and other works made by local artisans.  Each time Craig and I have gone camping in that area, we’ve popped in the store to have a look around.  Invariably – as is true in all parts of the southwest, I think - there are a number of art pieces composed of mixed metals: old bike gears and chains, scraps of galvanized steel and maybe a washer or two thrown in somewhere.  Most parts show definite prior use – the edges of the gears are worn smooth, the chains are clunky, and the washers are pock marked and could never lay straight.  And yet, in each case, the artist has intentionally chosen that specific object as a component in order to create something of new interest and new value.  And even in their altered form, each of those components is still completely identifiable.  Each metal piece remains as it formerly was - rusty and bent and imperfect – and yet the new creation, as a whole, is a marvelous and whimsical thing.

Jennifer and Jacob, welcome to your new adventure.  Welcome to a lifetime of being welded to something broken.  

I say this with a smile, because it’s as true for you as it is for Craig and I as it is for every couple anywhere.  There’s no other way to do marriage, and most often it’s in this brokenness that we get to see the extraordinary nature of love done well.  

In these initial months and years, I challenge you to develop the habit of thinking on your individual brokenness, not in a manner to weigh you down, or discourage you, but in order that you are able to see more fully how good and beautiful it is to be on the receiving end of such love.  Humble people don’t have pride to be hurt or inconsequential arguments to win, and, I’d wager that they experience a deeper sense of joy than the rest of us.  In marriage, winning is never the goal.  Perfection is never the goal.  Showing love... that is always the goal. 

Love might take physical form as a comforting embrace.  Or a hard conversation.  Or laughing so hard that you pee a little.   But like any of its incarnations, genuine love can only emerge from a heart of humility. 

During these initial days, you will hear that marriage is a hard work, that it contains difficult stretches to be endured and will require more restraint and patience than you imagine.  I admit that this can be true.   But if you can practice being clear with your expectations and gentle with your judgment, it can be as whimsical and lighthearted as art made from tea kettles and tire irons.   If you can learn to love each other well in the seemingly small, everyday ways, the big challenges will seem less daunting.   You are broken – both of you, and all of us.  But today marks the beginning of your brokenness taking the shape of something beautiful - and I’m warning you - amidst the work and the patience and your sacrifice, it’s going to be a terrible amount of fun. 


Also, happy belated anniversary to Craig, my best and most forgiving friend.  Let's do ten more, just to be sure.

No comments:

Post a Comment

Popular Posts