Thursday, January 21, 2021

No Small Feat

Saturday evening (1/16), Reverend Bonnie Bridger and I co-officiated Kate and James’ wedding ceremony at the Hilton Dallas/Rockwall Lakefront in Rockwall, Texas. Here are the remarks I shared with them and their guests:

Strike up a conversation with Kate and James, and you will sense a maturity that belies their young age. You might say that though they may be young, they are old souls. They can be as fun as the next person in their mid-20s, but they seem to really appreciate the gravitas of the moment, literally, this moment here today, as well as the time we live in.

It is hard to judge why one person might be more mature than the next one, and this is a wedding not a psychiatrist’s office. That said, from talking to Kate and James and reading what they wrote about themselves and each other, I have discovered an answer. They have each experienced some hardship in their lives as individuals and as a couple. And while none of us wishes for hardship, there are few better teachers.

That said, hardship would be marked deficient as a teacher by the average school administrator, because though it is good at raising questions and provoking deeper thought, it is not great at answering these questions. It forces us to answer those questions. Here is the tricky part, we can hardly ever answer the question of why this is happening, though we can and indeed must answer the question of what now.

Kate and James answered this question in strengthening their connections with their religious traditions. Kate went on Birthright and became more connected to her Judaism and
Israel. James reconnected to Jesus, and in his words this helped him, “put one foot in front of the other.” Kate and James, together, chose this very type of ceremony to profess their love for each other.

More importantly, though, I believe, Kate and James answered this question, through building the relationship they formalize today. They laid the foundation for it in the world we once knew as normal and solidified and deepened it in our new normal, which is no small feat.

This is why Kate says, “I just want to keep smiling, going on adventures, and having fun with James.” This is why James says, “We love and cherish each other, and we are so excited to journey through the rest of our lives together!”

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