My brother got married this past weekend. And it was beautiful. Beautiful in the sense that I know Heaven touched earth on a rainy and cloudy afternoon in May. Not only did we see it in the sushine that showed it's face only for a brief moment of the wedding ceremony but I saw it in other ways too.
I saw it as Jessica (yes, my new sister in law and I share not only a first name now but a last name too) stood in the rain taking pictures. Any other bride I know would have been panicking about her hair or makeup. And possibly on any other day she would have, but not that day. I saw it her eyes that a little rain shower wasn't going to ruin a second of that day. She was determined to enjoy every moment. She smiled, she laughed and she said screw the umbrella. I think she would have danced in a thunderstorm if it meant she got to marry my brother.
I saw it as I watched my brother and his groomsmen taking pictures together. I've known the majority of those guys since they were kiddos and it was a very cool moment to watch them all joke and laugh so hard together. I couldn't hear what they were saying (and probably didn't want to), but I know anyone could look at them all together and know they will be friends for life. My dad told me on Sunday about how just hearing all the groomsmen being in my parent's basement hanging out the day of the wedding made his heart want to burst open. I think it's because there is just something about watching little boys who used to play 3 Ninjas together turn into men who face life head on together that just hits you right deep down in your soul.
I saw it on my parent's and Greg and Brenda's face during the wedding. You could see the pride and happiness. I could feel Heaven as our two families circled Joe and Jess in prayer during the wedding. It felt powerful to hear her dad and mine pray for their life together. I've learned lately how much power there is in circling something or someone in prayer so I know their was power and greatness in that Souders and Loftus prayer circle. For so many years we watched Jessica and Joey do life together. They faced really big highs and really hard lows and there was a time when we weren't sure how their story would end but in that moment we all believed God can redeem any situation and that God had redeemed theirs in the best possible way.
The moment though that I saw Heaven the most was during the first dance. I'm the first to admit the first dance is always sweet but it's not like you pay attention for that long. But this dance had everyone in the room watching. And it wasn't because they came up with some coordinated routine or they looked like ballroom fancy dancers. It was because my brother was singing to Jessica the whole time. And something about that moment found me holding my breath and crying tears of happiness. Then I realized that everyone around me felt the same way I did. You could see on both of their faces the love we all strive for. I think everyone wanted to be loved as much as Jessica loved Joey in that moment and everyone wanted to love someone as much as Joey loved Jessica in that moment. I also think in that moment everyone could have felt a little jealous, but I don't think anyone did. I think for me it made me want to strive harder and pray circles around the promises from God that I will have that kind of love in my life one day.
I read a book years ago that talked about what Heaven would be like. And the author said he hoped it was like a wedding. Lots of laughing, dancing, wine and love. I hope that too and now I'm confident Heaven will be a lot like the day my brother married his bride.