Saturday, May 28, 2011
It is wedding season, and this spring I had the privilege of soliciting the artistic talent of my friend, Betsy, to put together a wedding invitation suite for my sister-in-law-to-be, whose marriage to my brother will take place in just a few short weeks. The invitations were printed on enormous sheets of hand-made French paper, folded intricately, and then bound with baker's twine and sealed with wax. They were a dream to work on! A wonderful reprieve from laundry and dishes, I must say, and I do think Jane Austen would have been proud.
I happened to be folding and tying and stuffing and sealing a great many envelopes while William and Catherine were exchanging their nuptials; and although I had to draw a breath when I saw the stunning Miss Middleton, swathed in lace and tulle, float from the lobby of the Goring Hotel into her humming automobile, I was even more swept away by the words of Reverend Richard Chartres, the Bishop of London who - with shining eyes and a great deal of English zest - delivered a most moving wedding sermon.
"In a sense every wedding is a royal wedding," he said, "with the bride and the groom as king and queen of creation, making a new life together so that life can flow through them into the future." He reminded the future king and queen of England that "A spiritual life grows as love finds its centre beyond ourselves," identifying the dangers of living in a world where devotion to romantic love has eclipsed, even replaced, devotion to God. Most people's lives reflect the belief that "personal relations alone will supply meaning and happiness in life;" which, he noted, "is to load our partner with too great a burden."
Instead, by grounding our ideas of love in God as He has revealed Himself in the Person of Jesus Christ, we discover that "the more we give of self, the richer we become in soul; the more we go beyond ourselves in love, the more we become our true selves..."
I couldn't help but agree.
Friday, May 27, 2011
Evangeline was actually clowning around when I took this picture, but I love the way she looks all wobbly and weak-kneed, and how the concrete pathway stretching out in front of her appears interminably long and hard and monotonous - the way life feels some days.
I was having one of those days when I listened to this song by singer/songwriter Josh Garrels. The arrangement and recording - which I find achingly beautiful - was produced by a collective of Brooklyn-based musicians, film makers and creative professionals called Mason Jar Music whose sound and setting is inspired by the old buildings of New York.
Josh Garrels has another song, Ulysses, which describes with breathtaking accuracy the journey of faith that each man or woman must make - sailing through storms toward home. Every time I listen to it, I weep.
"Therefore, strengthen the hands that are weak and the knees that are feeble, and make straight paths for your feet, so that the limb which is lame may not be put out of joint, but rather be healed." ~ Hebrews 12.12