Today, my friend Anna Shelnutt (now Hall) asked me what I thought of her wedding day. I wish I could’ve expressed the torrent of thoughts that cascaded through the corridors of my mind, but I couldn’t possibly have covered it well. So Anna, here is your wedding day.
You were light, sunshine, laughter and kiddie giggles wrapped in human flesh. I observed you quite carefully all weekend, and I felt like a student. Through every action, every facial expression, every word that escaped your lips, you taught me a new lesson.
You were selfless. With numerous people calling for your attention – bridesmaids, sisters, parents, guests, husband-to-be – you were a portrait of Jesus. I imagine that during the weekend of May 10th, the Lord allowed me to observe you so that I could see just how seamlessly He is able to split Himself up in a way that materializes as no division at all. Somehow, every guest and every craving for your ear was met equally; I wouldn’t be surprised if it took nothing from you. Only Abba could provide such grace to a human being. Only He could grant a gift that would multiply endlessly.
You were joy. I believe that this quality will possibly always be my greatest memory of your wedding day. Burned on my mind is the image of your face, shining – glowing – not just with love for your spouse, but with kindness, gentleness and appreciation for the many guests and individuals who contributed to your nuptials. Somehow, you made me feel as if I was important that day; as if each of the people you encountered were the reason we had all gathered. My goodness, if I learned nothing else, it was that I can be a better person. Despite the selfishness and anxiety that exists in my heart, I can – with the help of the Holy Spirit – overcome that and live in a way that others would see only Jesus in me. Because on your special day, your most magnificent adornment wasn’t your lace-bodiced gown or your bare feet… it was the light shining through you that made you virtually transparent, allowing God to pervade that space.
How was your wedding day? It felt like we weren’t in Georgia anymore; like we weren’t anywhere. Your wedding day was a slice of stolen time wherein which a select few were transported to a practice run-through of the Glorious Wedding Day to come. If I may say so, Jesus presided over your wedding. It was marvelous.
I am proud of you. I don’t know why I feel that’s weird to say, but I’ll say it anyway. I’m proud of what you have accomplished, what you have set out to do, and who you have set out to do it with. I’m proud that you’ve chosen to walk through life with a spouse who glorifies and adores your First Love as much as you do. I’m proud that, together, you two will accomplish miracles and shake mountains and bring healing to those who are confused or doubting…
And you will, of course, do none of this on your own. But our God is mysterious and wonderful. Everything about our first meeting, Anna, was on-time and impacting. You, me, and Jesus, sitting there at that creek and saying nothing (but also saying everything). If you’ve decided (which you have) to begin this new chapter of your life with Him, I can only imagine the awesomeness of your journey to come.
And to your new husband: thank you for loving my friend. Thank you for loving this child of God who will do everything in her power – and with strength given from Christ – to love you unconditionally and relentlessly. You’re a swell guy!
This might all be a bit much, Anna, but I mean every word. God knows your heart, dear one, and I know that He will always take care of you. He has been your beacon, your path, your strength, your comfort…and now a new kind of sweetness will be added to your relationship, because the pronoun “your” will apply to your new unit of two. Your threefold cord – Anna, Alec and Abba – joined to face triumphs and disappointments and peaks and valleys together. And one timeless day, we’ll all get to sit together and feast again at the Ultimate Wedding. And the glimpses of His character I’ve seen in you throughout our friendship (and on your special day) will be exposed clearly and plainly before us in purest form.
God used your wedding day to draw my attentions back to Him. I hope I’ll be able to keep learning from you through our lifetime friendship. So yeah…that’s how I saw your wedding day 🙂