Dressed in white. All at once taking time, yet wanting to sprint to it.
He stands, the hands folded, the altar behind. Smiling through tears. Men don't cry?
She finally gets there on one arm, in order to take the other. Turns toward the preacher; flowers, vows, and rings. And somewhere in between - The Love Chapter.
It fits. Or does it?
Love is patient, but oh, how they couldn't wait for this day. Into the other’s eyes they gaze; the Day finally here.
Love is not proud, but oh, how beautiful she is at this moment, blushing flowers in the hair. He can't help but love her proud.
Love does not boast, but she sees the tear, and she'll never forget it. She'll boast in the man of her dreams and the tears that were for her.
Love does not insist on its own way, but nothing could keep them apart. "Love always finds a way," they say. They call this ceremony a testimony to love's persistence.
Love never ends. Then why do they promise their love and make vows of commitment that include the qualifying "until death do us part"?
Does the famed Chapter really fit? Can you pull off the Christian wedding without it? Why doesn't it line up with the vows, the heartbeats, the starry-eyed gazing, and the long-awaited end that is a wedding?
Because. It wasn't meant to.
The Love Chapter isn't found in Ephesians or Colossians amidst instruction that men love their wives and women respect their husbands. No, it's in 1 Corinthians, 1 Corinthians 13, bookended by two chapters about spiritual gifts in the Church, the Body of Christ.
The Church, where all's grace and love and happiness, because Christ is there.
The Church, where much is ugly, confusing, and painful, because broken people are its members. But love is the glue that holds it together, because Christ is love - Love-glue.
"Faith, hope, and love abide, these three; but the greatest of these is love."
God is love.
He's never called faith, though we have faith in Him. He's never called hope, though we hope in Him. He is love, and we love Him because Love first loved us.
So, if God is love and Christ is God, then Christ too is love.
Christ is the Love-glue that binds His Body, Himself, together. It's not that the Love-glueisn't needed between the one teary-eyed and her dressed white, but it wasn't manufactured just for them. They're bound together as they're bound up in the whole Body, His.
They don't stand alone, and they can't claim The Love Chapter just for themselves. It's for the Body.
I guess it does fit, but not as a part of vows that the one crying and the white-dressed make to each other. It's a vow they make within the Body, to the One to whom they all belong. Pledging to lean on the Love-glue to hold together the brokenness.
It won't hide the jagged edges; it wasn't meant to. We want the world to see the Love-glue.
Like Chinese pottery; crushed to bits and then meticulously bound together by pure molten gold. The Love-glue is gold - the beauty between the brokenness.
But we never left the altar.
The Love-glue binds together one dressed in white who, after a slow, painful walk, stands arm in arm with a God-man, face stained with blood and tears. Marriage feast day, at last.
The music lilts soft and His voice matches the rhythm. He speaks the words - His words. Electricity chills run down from flower-graced head to steady Heaven ground. "Love is patient and kind..."
It's His vow. His alone.
I am patient and kind… I will never end. It's one-sided, and all the Bride can do is receive. She stands silent; her turn comes with the tears. We gaze long, and
Time. Stands. Still.