Sunday, February 20, 2022

Deep, Powerful, and Lasting

Saturday evening, Father Justin Daffron and I co-officiated Margaret and Jacob’s wedding ceremony at St. Thomas Aquinas Catholic Church in Dallas, Texas. Here are the remarks I shared with them and their guests:

Margaret’s comment about the first time she interacted one on one with Jacob would be odd, if you did not know him or at least had not seen him. “He had the best smile and the best hair,” is not typically what you hear about a guy, but with Jacob, you must admit it is true. 

Their relationship hit a hilarious speed bump before it could actually start: “We parted ways and I didn’t hear from him for a few weeks. I was disappointed but figured he wasn’t interested. Turns out he got the wrong phone number and was texting a stranger, who repeatedly replied!” It’s not like that stranger had a choice either. I think the rule in that case is like in improv, “Yes, and…” You must keep the bit going for as long as you can. Don’t hate the player; hate the game!

Margaret talks about when she knew this guy was the one. It was when she realized that being with him altered her behavior, in a good way: “I think I realized that I wanted it to be with Jacob when I found myself calling him to tell him good news, bad news, or no news at all. We would talk on the phone on his way from Denton to Dallas until he was at my door. This was odd for me; I am not a big talker. Most of my friends are shocked when I answer the phone. He's my best friend.” 

What Margaret is saying is that Jacob makes her feel uniquely secure. Jacob echoes this: “She makes me feel secure and safe. When I’m losing my mind from stress and anxiety, she gives me strength and puts me at ease. I knew there was something special early on. We could just hang out and talk about real things and we could be goofballs, making silly voices and being obnoxious to her roommate. We have always had a connection and have been there for each other when we need support.”

Of course, being a rabbi and all, and considering his name, this made me think about how this echoes the first genuine biblical love story, the story of Rachel and Jacob. There too, the shy and timid Jacob, enthralled by the even shyer Rachel, finds his very behavior, even his physical strength, altered. And the Bible gives us one of the most beautiful descriptions of love’s affect on the psyche. It tells us that the seven years Jacob had to wait to marry Rachel, “seemed to him but a few days because of his love for her.” So powerful is their love that in his old age, he still describes it to their son, not something we usually find in the biblical narrative. 

Margaret and Jacob, you chose well. We pray for you that you continue to give each other the sense of safety and security you found at the beginning of your love story, and that it be as deep, as powerful, and as lasting, as the love of Rachel and Jacob.