I had the absolute joy of watching one of my little brothers marry the most amazing woman this weekend. I was struck by how much love surrounded them: the love each had for each other, the love they had for God, the love that their friends and family poured out on them. It was incredible.
It made me think of the things that did not quite go how they had planned for their wedding, because like any wedding, there were imperfections. I can remember looking out at the large front lawn at my parents house, where the wedding reception was going to be just weeks before the wedding. The ancient cottonwood trees made a romantic enclosure, and my sister-in-law planned to hang lights from the branches.
The whole area was knee-deep in standing water.
“Well, looks like we aren’t going to have the reception there!” My sister-in-law said.
That was it. Her response. I was in awe.
Ultimately, my brother and his wife knew that a wedding does not make a marriage. That without love, the celebration was just a “noisy gong or a clanging cymbal” instead of a joyous chorus.
So, surrounded by love, they took communion as man and wife. They danced, and kissed, and sang. They hugged and laughed. The reception wasn’t where it was meant to be. Some other aspects weren’t pinterest perfect (they never are, are they?).
But every person there will remember the love.
I am reminded to do all that I can out of love. Treat my family with God-glorifying love. My friends, my enemies. Those that persecute me and bless me. “If I speak in the tongues of men and of angels, but have not love, I am a noisy gong or a clanging cymbal. And if I have prophetic powers, and understand all mysteries and all knowledge, and if I have all faith, so as to remove mountains, but have not love, I am nothing. If I give away all I have, and if I deliver up my body to be burned, but have not love, I gain nothing.” -1 Corinthians 13:1-3