Last week I went to a friend’s wedding. She was not my very closest friend, but I knew her, and I was close friends with some of her close friends. I was expecting to enjoy the ceremony. I certainly wasn’t expecting to do an “ugly cry.”
But I did. Because beauty snuck up on me. She has a way of doing that.
First the groomsmen came, walking briskly all in a line, sharp-looking young men all in black suits. Then came the bridesmaids one by one, walking slowly and gracefully in dresses that reached the floor. And I believe it was then that the pint-sized flower girl made her way up the aisle, radiating adorableness in every direction. Upon reaching the front, she promptly dumped the flower petals out of her basket. There were ripples of laughter.
Then came the bride, in a pure white gown that was both modest and stunning. Her father was not present, so she walked half-way up the aisle by herself. That was when the groom came down from the front, met her, and gave her his arm to walk the rest of the way.
And that was when I lost it. It was the first time I’d seen the bride and groom together. The sheer joy that was shining from their faces as their eyes met was indescribable. In that moment, I saw everything I wanted my own future to be. I saw contentment upon contentment, grace upon grace. Holiness upon holiness.
We sat through the rest of the service as the preacher spoke, as they said their vows, and as they took communion while a pianist played special music. Finally, the groom kissed his bride, and we broke our own silence with uproarious applause.
I realized it had been a long time since I’d seen a wedding—six years now. And I’ve spent so much time fighting the corruption of marriage, the corruption of love itself in the form of homosexuality that I think God knew my soul needed to be refreshed. He knew that I needed a flesh-and-blood reminder of what a perfect, holy union looks like: one man and one woman, pure in body, heart and mind, committed to God and each other ’til death should part them.
We live in a fallen world, and still God reveals Himself. Still He gives us foretastes of glory divine. For how much more glorious will that final marriage celebration be? How much more beautiful the moment when Jesus carries His bride over the threshold of His kingdom?
The marriage-feast is waiting,
The gates wide open stand;
Up, up, ye heirs of glory!
The Bridegroom is at hand.
— “Rejoice, Rejoice Believers”