And the statement still surprises me. I mean, this is the girl who swore she would never get married. Ever.
It was a very nice wedding - well, except for the very stressful fact that the person that was hired to "officiate" the wedding never showed up. And that's really bad. It turned out though, that the mother of the little ringbearer was an ordained minister. Everyone was thrilled. Yee-ha. The wedding was saved.
I, uh, was less than thrilled. An ordained minister of what? I asked. No one seemd to care, other than my husband and I. Turns out that she's an ordained minister of a Universalist Unitarian Church which, if you read their stuff, has everything to do with "believe whatever you want to believe and we'll accept you" unless of course you happen to believe in Jesus Christ and call yourself a Christian because being a Christian is, of course, completely intolerant. I suppose it's because of that little detail that Christians believe - you know, the part about there only being one way to be saved, through Jesus Christ. Yeah, people don't tend to like that.
So while everyone is scurrying around getting ready for the wedding we are already late for, well, I was a little hung up on exactly what kind of wedding this was going to be. My sister is not a Christian, so I guess it shouldn't have bothered me so much. It was her wedding, and it was her choice, and since the wedding wasn't going to include God anyway, what difference did it really make?
But it does make a difference. It just didn't feel real to me. To do things completely apart and devoid of God, well, why bother at all? It ended up feeling a little strange to be there in that world. A world where they had fun by getting plastered and chain-smoking out on the patio. It was a frenzied kind of fun, without purpose, the kind that would fizzle out quickly because there is no substance to the temporary joy.
Yeah, I'm overthinking the whole thing and I should probably just let it go. I had fun dancing and taking pictures of my kids dancing with my husband, but underneath it all, it all felt so....sad, really. Sad because I see so clearly how far my sister is from seeing God for who he really is. Her world has been built around something else entirely. And at the end of it all, I know how brittle that foundation really is.
My husband and I (mugging for the camera above) celebrated our twelfth anniversary this year. And we both know that it is God's work in and through us that makes all the difference. I wonder where my sister and her new husband will turn when things are hard. When things don't go as planned. When life is unfair. What will their marriage look like in a year, in five? What will help it to last?
The sad thing is, I know exactly what she needs, and it is the very thing she doesn't want anything to do with. I bet you know someone like that, too. Most of us do. So in the end, all we can do is pray...and love. Then pray some more...