Wedding Rain

WORDS FROM W.W.                                                               July 3, 2016

                                          

I am fortunate in many ways. One of those is being asked by couples to be the officiant for their weddings. I get the privilege of guiding them through their vows, grant the groom permission to kiss his new bride, and introduce them as a newly-wedded couple. Most of the time it’s a pretty cool experience. I stand up front in my marrying and burying suit and give the bride’s mother the nod as to when to stand.

In a time when a lot of people seem to trash the covenant of marriage it seems that a wedding is still seen as being that blessed event, a time of celebration and recognition of this new union.

When I meet with couples who are looking to get married we don’t talk about the wedding until the last session. All of the sessions we have are focused on what it means to be married…the challenges, the adjustments, hopes and dreams, expectations and dealing with frustrations. We talk about communication, deep and meaningful versus shallow and meaningless.

After those sessions then I guide the couple through the wedding ceremony, creating a celebration that is God-honoring and representative of who they are.

Weddings are also unpredictable. One ceremony I officiated was interrupted by the curtain in the chancel area of the sanctuary beginning to fall down. At another ceremony years ago one of the groomsmen passed out for a few moments. We got him propped up and continued. I tell those stories to the couple and make the point that we will not let the unplanned and unpredictable ruin the day; that the ceremony is about the two of them, not about perfection. It’s about them saying their vows to one another, not the fluff of the event.

This weekend I had the honor of presiding over the wedding ceremony of two young people who are awesome “kids!” I’ve known the young lady for seventeen years, coming to be her pastor when she was seven years old. The young man works at the same restaurant that my son is the chef for. He’s like a six foot three inch teddy bear who is deeply in love with his new wife. Fitting their personalities, the wedding was at a ranch. “Big Mike” and his groomsmen were decked out in blue jeans, dress shirts, ties, and black western hats. It fit! I was the only one in a suit, but they let me do the ceremony anyway.

And, of course, the weather reports were as indecisive as a kid with a dollar bill in a candy store. It could be okay…it could be raining…it could be sunny…it could be sunny with rain! The bride took a stand. “We are not getting married inside! If it rains, it rains!”

We pressed on, and at 1:55 the cousin of the bride began escorting grandparents down the aisle. At 2:00 the bridesmaids started their walk.

At thirty seconds after the clock struck two the rain started!

I took my glasses off and put in them in pocket. I motioned for the bride’s uncle to the front with an umbrella. He took his place, looking like my bodyguard/assistant, as the bride came down the aisle. The closer she got to the front the heavier the rain came…and there was no turning back!

We began as the bridesmaids wiped the raindrops off their brows. I trudged ahead, abbreviating statements without minimizing the sacredness of the ceremony. The bride smiled the whole time. The groom grinned as wide as the corral. We moved ahead through vows and the exchanging of the rings. My prayer got shortened a little bit, and Big Mike literally laid a wet kiss on his bride’s lips. I had them turn and face the umbrella-ed audience and as I pronounced them man and wife the rain stopped!

Eleven minutes! The ceremony took eleven minutes. It rained for ten minutes and fifty seconds!

And they were okay with it! In my prayer I asked that, just like the shower, God would rain down his blessings upon the newlyweds in the coming years, that they would look back at the day of their wedding…the rain and the gathering of family and friends…and see it as a symbolic reminder of how blessed they are.

I’ve always sensed that God has a sense of humor…God-humor, I guess you could call it. And wouldn’t you know it? About thirty minutes after the wet wedding the sun emerged to shine down upon the two “kids”, who now seemed a little more grown-up!

Explore posts in the same categories: Bible, children, Christianity, Community, Grace, Humor, Jesus, love, marriage, Parenting, Pastor, Prayer, Story, The Church, Uncategorized, Youth

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