First time for me in 33 years of Ministry. A double-wedding ceremony.
It took place at the David Simpson Hospice House in Cleveland around 10:15 a.m. on 12/11/13.
Their mother is very sick and is declining rather quickly. “THEY” wanted to do something about as special as a son and a daughter can do for an ailing mother. Take her to a wedding: THEIR’S!
With a small amount of family and friends gathered into The Mediation Room that overlooked an angry Lake Erie on a dishwater gray Winter morning, they wheeled the bed of their mother into that small gathering.
I told them as we began the service, that no matter what Cathedral or highly adorned Sanctuary they’d ever find themselves, it would never be any more sacred than the walls of family and friends that surrounded them right then.
And then it happened. A daughter shared her vows with the groom and a son shared his vows, as tears trickled from his face, with his bride in front of their weak mother, who was fighting off a medicine-induced sleep that she was determined not to surrender.
“For better, for worse; for richer, for poorer; in sickness and in health; to love and to cherish; all the days of my life; I give you my promise,” they shared to each other one by one, all four of them.
Rings were exchanged; a prayer prayed, kisses shared.
And then. . .then it was out there. It hung in the air ever so lightly like a whisp of smoke from a fragrant candle, but even sweeter, more noticeable.
“Love is NOT the Greatest Thing in the World. . .SHARED LOVE IS!”
Sure, Love is patient, love is kind, it’s not boastful or arrogant and it never demands its own way….
In the Best Charlie Brown Teacher impersonator, “Whaa-Whaa-Whaa-Whaaaaa….”
It means, nothing, absolutely nothing, all glittery, soft, and smooth–unless it’s purposely, intentionally, unabashedly Shared!
Love filled the room, smiles made it very cozy, but it was the Compassion of a son and daughter that made it meaningful, and for one weak, sick, but extremely happy mom, unbelievably memorable… way, way past wherever Death takes us(but never leaves us).