In a time when an estimated 50% of marriages end in divorce, it’s amazing how you persist walking down the aisle, saying “yes to the frothy white dress,” and fretting over reception seating—after all, you can’t have squabbling family members seated close enough to lob Swedish meatballs at each other. Many of your parents and grandparents have made a mess of blessed matrimony, and even if they’ve managed to stay together, you’ve witnessed the heartbreaking fractures of other relatives and friends’ families. and yet you persist.
I love that! I love that you still get married. It’s a sterling silver example of the audacity of hope.* And it’s a wedding bell-ringing endorsement of a timeless social and spiritual custom of uniting two individuals into one—for better or worse, richer or poorer, sickness and health, higher income taxes and so on.
Tim and I are invited to four weddings this year—three nieces and one nephew. All between the ages of 22 and 27. The nephew, Danny, just married Corey, his sweetheart of eight years this weekend in Buffalo, NY. They met working at Dairy Queen. The wedding celebration was a blast (or should I say a blizzard–apropos to either Buffalo or DQ). They treated us right (old DQ slogan) with great food, lots of laughter, and a DJ that played a crowd-pleasing assortment of dance music late into the night! Usher and Nicki Minaj, The Village People, a rhumba, a waltz, and the requisite line-dance numbers. What fun!
Our family caravanned up there—a minivan full of our YAs and a car with our own YA newlyweds, Billy and Brynne, who just celebrated their first anniversary. Since the wedding was held in the late afternoon, we had time to visit the old-school honeymoon capital of the world–Niagara Falls.
As it happened to be the morning after Nik Wallenda’s history-making tightrope walk across the Horseshoe Falls, I couldn’t help but notice the correlation of that daring feat and the wedding that was taking place later in the day:
• Both are precarious journeys of faith—the marriage more so because there’s nothing preventing you from slipping up. Over time, you’ll forget about the rushing waters under your feet, the plummet into the rocks below. With marriage, slip-up is inevitable. The harness you’ll need time after time, is forgiveness.
• Both are public performances that make a promise—so if for some reason, you don’t make it until death-do-you-part, there’s nowhere to hide. Divorce is public too—even if there’s no cake or presents.
• Nik Wallenda says he crossed the 1800 ft. span on a two-inch wide steel rope set two hundred feet above the falls into blinding mist and churning wind, with “a lot of praying, that’s for sure. But, you know, it’s all about the concentration, the focus, and the training.” His crossing was successful—he didn’t need the harness. For success, our marriages need concentration, focus, and training. And, of course, a lot of prayer. And the greatest of these is love–I added that.
Congratulations Nik. And congratulations Danny and Corey. We’re praying for you as you cross into the exciting world of mawage (Princess Bride).
*Audacity of hope is borrowed from President Obama’s first run slogans–I thought it would be okay to recycle it, since he hasn’t.
Wedding Word Search (find these words associated with marriage in the preceding post):
honeymoon, sterling silver, wedding bell, white dress, reception, sweetheart, faith, hope, love, Swedish meatballs, tightrope, rocks 😉