Silence. The pause between soft music in the background that in a few long seconds will become the soundtrack to a scene I never forget. The doors at the far end of the center aisle swing open. Suddenly there was much significance in noticing the direction the doors opened because they opened out, not in. It’s in that little detail I realized the doors were not only letting her in, they were letting something out: my mistakes, my misguided want, my aimless wandering, my missed attempts. The room I’m in cannot hold both hope and despair, happiness and dread.
When love walks in, history begins again.
In the doorway stands proof that God loves me. She stands next to her father, who puffs his chest out just enough for people to notice how proud he is of his daughter. He suspects that she found a man that might possibly love her as much as he does, that will make her laugh, and that will serve her well. He knows very soon the time will come to give her away, that’s why her life has been flashing before his eyes all morning.
The musicians begin to play. The haunting yet rich sound of bagpipes. Yes, bagpipes. It was the groom’s only wedding day request, so everyone just accepts it. A nice lady stands up and turns to see her daughter walk towards me. In wedding tradition the crowd rises, as well. I look over my shoulder to see my brother glance back at me. We just know that this moment, this is a big moment. The only other time I remember a glance like this from him was about ten years earlier after we won an intramural softball game…
You see, earlier that same day I wrestled with how I could contribute to the team. We were in the intramural playoffs at a prestigous university where being champions of an intramural sport was a big deal. I wanted so badly to help us win. And by helping us win, I mean play in the game and do well. However, up to that point I was reserved as a substitute player, only playing in games that were already won or lost by the time I got in. So I prayed for humility then decided that if all I could do was support the team, I’d support the loudest and longest. Yes, I was fine with being an athletic supporter. But this game was different. Late in game and down by a few runs, the captain put me in at center field. Soon after the inning started, I caught a fly ball for the third out of our opponent’s at bat. In the bottom of that same inning with the score dangerously close, I was up to bat. I hit a single that got me on base. A few hits later I crossed home plate to score the winning run. While we were still celebrating the victory, I looked at my brother, the star short stop. He was smiling and he was shaking his head, such a proud look as if to say, “You see what God can do?” That was the glance.
And now here he is, my best man looking at me and smiling with his proud look, saying the same thing, “You see what God can do? She’s your win.” I would not trade that look in this moment for anything else. Nor would I trade what I see next. This unbelievable creation walking down the aisle, with her sparkling white dress, her cute smile. I know that I will never want anyone the way I want her.
Check back later for A Love Story: Part Two.