The daughter of my dear friend was married today. It was a beautiful fall day, a beautiful wedding. Although I’ve had the happy blessing of participating in my own daughter’s wedding, there is something to being outside of the hustle and bustle of hosting and being able to observe and celebrate… and remember.
Jodie and I met our senior year in high school where we were thrown together in a retro singing group, The Velvetones, singing songs from the 30’s and 40’s. In college she invited me to live with her for a semester on campus. She was a bridesmaid in my wedding and six months later, I in hers. She and her husband moved away to the Northwest for schooling, but after, made their way back home. They had two daughters who were in the same classes as my two sons at the same school Jodie and I attended. And now we are watching our children pick up where we began as they find and make their own ways in the world.
We have laughed and cried and counseled and encouraged each other over parenting, parents, marriage, our work, our walk (both spiritual and physical), life, and death, the future, the past, the present… all of it. We don’t get together near enough, but she is in my heart at all times, she helps me want to be a better person, and she is the fragrance of Christ to me, always.
The opening stanza of Robert Brownings’ poem, “Rabbi ben Ezra” is generally applied these days to wedded love, and no wonder. The now famous courtship letters written between Browning and his future wife, the poetess Elizabeth Barrett, expose Robert as an articulate romantic. I, too, embrace the stanza for Dana and me, primarily as it looks to future grace and yields itself to a sovereign God. But might we not spare just a bit to apply to all our life-long relationships, whether friend or family? If so, I extend it, this evening, to my dear friend.
Who knew back then, what God would make of us? Who knows today, what will come our way? But we trust in our God who revealed himself to us in our youth and who plans our beginnings and our endings. Thank you for your friendship, dear Jodie. I am blessed to have you in my life.
Grow old along with me!
The best is yet to be,
The last of life, for which the first was made:
Our times are in His hand
Who saith “A whole I planned,
Youth shows but half; trust God: see all, nor be afraid.”