Yesterday I attended Beau and Sarah’s wedding. I cried when my friend Linsey sang, “Praise to the Lord,” replete with key change (always gets me).
Not only is her voice incredibly beautiful, but when Lins sings—especially when she sang yesterday—you know you are sitting in a place that is both earth and heaven. You are experiencing God-breathed magic emerging from someone’s deeply human soul. How overwhelming it is to be confronted with such great beauty.
The moment was like awakening to a new level of living, the kind of living you crave.
When Lins was done singing, a man behind me whispered, “Amen.” The perfect sentiment . . . as if the entire song had been a prayer. And that made the whole wedding feel like a prayer—a worshipful, celebratory, earnest, pure prayer. A gift to all who attended, I have no doubt.
Weddings have the power to reunite us with possibility, hope, steadfastness, sacrifice, commitment. I was reminded of the essence of love, and how petty I can be when it comes to loving Steve. How much I want to rip into him sometimes. How much I unfairly expect of him. How much I try to change him sometimes.
I was reminded yesterday that love is about something far bigger than a feeling. It’s not a new thought, but it’s a profound one. In fact, the pastor who married Beau and Sarah (Sarah’s father) said something I’ll remember . . . “Love actually has nothing to do with what you’re feeling in this moment today.” He went on to talk about what love really is—how love is what manifests itself when, and only when, things have gone south and sideways and there’s nothing else that would keep the wheels on the track except love.
I have this great book I’ve been reading—Emotional Sobriety—by Tian Dayton. It’s a little heady at points, but absorbing nonetheless. I’ve been doing a lot of reading and thinking about recovery lately, and this book has been helpful. She says, “When our hearts are wounded through disappointment or loss, love restores us to comfort and balance. Fear triggers us into self-protective responses like fight (anger, rage), flight (taking off, dissociating), or freeze (shutting down, withdrawing), while love and caring soothes us and brings us back to a state of equilibrium.”
In other words, love has such great power to heal us . . . if we will let it. Why is it often so hard to let ourselves be loved and to love well in return?
The wedding helped me to remember what love is (and what it isn’t).
I’m going to carry around a line of “Praise to the Lord” with me, a prayer of my own . . .
Ponder anew what the Almighty can do.
May we all remain open to healing love.