Tuesday, July 15, 2014

The Song We Sang

The exhaustion hit hard yesterday. I went back to work, back to 'normal'. With so much yet undone, it was no surprise that walking back into the house at 7pm was so overwhelming, I just wanted to slip under the waves and just. let. go.

Thank you, God, for Sarah, who had a small meal ready. She texted a picture and both Daniel and I replied "WE'RE COMING WE'RE COMING!!!". Using up wedding leftovers and dregs from the fridge, she made a beautiful, delicious meal.

Mostly awesome because it was there. And I didn't have to cook it.

The house is still littered with remnants of the previous week. As wonderful as the wedding ended up, there were a few things that got overlooked. The slate pieces with the menus artfully hand-lettered that never made it to the table. There's a mason jar of boutonnieres that somebody never got, and for the life of me, I have no idea who they were. Except I know that the two pastors never got flowers.


There's a program on the floor and a few leftover bags of M&Ms and a box of vases and a million things stacked in the hallway that need to be returned to their owners. The 10' table we used for all the craftiness and creative stuff is still parked in the living room, piled high with watercolors and ribbon and glue sticks.

Tony came home late from work yesterday, trying to catch back up on everything he let go in order to make this wedding happen. I was dead asleep at 10PM, and this morning I found a text stamped 12:11AM saying, On my way home but I never saw or heard him. And yet, at 7:30AM I crawled into the kitchen (yes, CRAWLED - there is no bright-eyed and bushy-tailed around here - EVER) and found spotless counters and a clean kitchen sink.

That man.


The first load of table linens are in the wash this morning, and I have resigned myself to the fact that it will probably take as long to clean up from this wedding as it did to prepare. But it's a happy resignation, truly; there is a smile on my face even now as I remember.

Somebody mentioned to one of the girls that they thought the wedding would be more of a production; because, well, that's what we do. That's stuck in my head for a few days and has brought me no slight measure of joy; because what we intended all along to make space for a sacred covenant and room to share joy. It was simple and focused and as far from a production as we could take it.

But there was an ebb and flow to the evening, and Shannon and Travis were determined to have a focused time of authentic worship as part of their marriage ceremony. We could have formed an incredible band by simply inviting half of the wedding party, the groom himself, and a good part of the crowd to take the platform and make music. However, they wanted something different, something that allowed the community present to join together and focus all the attention upward.

And they wanted to participate themselves, not have a performance.

So there was a simple acoustic guitar and the voice of the best friend and a sister. And there is this photograph, which would be heavily critiqued for its lack of model-esque posing; but you cannot argue with the heartfelt emotion you see on these faces.

Photo credit: Katelyn James
All around, the words of those songs echoed in the blue sky. In my first post about this event, in awestruck wonder I showed you MY YARD, PEOPLE - LOOK AT MY YARD!! Here, I wish I could convey the vibrant, purposeful sound of people who love Shannon and Travis, singing the strong strains of redemptive grace; the ringing acoustic guitar and the simply melody of a declaration of truth that God knows they will learn over and over again in their lives together:

You make beautiful things, you make beautiful things out of the dust
You make beautiful things, you make beautiful things out of us

And we sung a hymn; go figure. These kids, raised in the bubbling heart of a rock and roll church, chose "Come Thou Fount" as part of their worship service, along with Gungor's "Beautiful Things". And all the people, all of our friends, voicing the words, finding the harmony; it filled my heart. It was an exquisite moment, and it was so authentic and right for the people, for the couple, for the moment.

It wasn't a production. It was simple, and all we needed were the voices God gave us to make it holy and sacred.

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