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A Wedding in Hood River

This past weekend we loaded up the 2 year old and the 3 week old, armed ourselves with stickers and snacks to last a week and drove the 5 hours to Hood River, OR for my brother’s wedding.

It was non-stop from the minute we arrived: making a paella dinner over an open flame for 40 people, 14 people camped out in a house with sleeping bags and wedding clothes sprawled across every available space. There were breakfasts and pictures and late night toasts.

And between the set up and tear down and the running after kids and shaking hands with strangers who are now pseudo-family, there was this glorious hour where Heaven kissed earth as a man left his family and a woman pledged her life and two lives committed to form one.

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   Wedding pic

In a world where institutions are torn down and redefined by the stroke of a pen, where tradition matters less than the latest trends, and where daring to stand on the side of history and truth will land you in the camp of the outcasts, a man and a woman pledging to lay down their lives for the other in glory to God can seem like a radical rebellion.

Everything the world screams against, this wedding humbly stood for. Whereas the latest celebrity sex escapade grabs headlines, this couple quietly pursued purity, both saving sex for their spouse.

Whereas individual happiness and fulfillment has become the highest good, this couple pledged to lay down their lives for one another in daily sacrificial living.

Whereas marriage has come to mean a legal construct between two people, this man and this woman stepped into the image of what God-ordained marriage is and always will be: a stunning display of His love through two imperfect people pursuing Jesus-centered living.

And it’s a privilege and a humble honor to bear witness to such a holy moment. And you can’t help but wonder, as the tears flow, if this isn’t a small taste of what Heaven will be like. When we’re seated at THE wedding feast, will we recognize fully what we only saw in glimpses and shadows here on earth? That the joy and wonder and love we feel in moments like these are just hints of a greater celebration waiting to be had?

Now we’re back and the laundry is caught up and the cars unpacked, and the weekend is drifting away as life rattles on. But we’re warmed by the fullness of the time spent together as a family, and the beauty of what we witnessed. And we hold to the hope that as good as it was, the best is yet to come.

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