Last weekend, I went to a really sweet wedding of two people who have been through a lot in life. The groom is a widower with several children and multiple grandchildren. The bride had been single all her life and as a 50-something year old, had pretty much given up the hope of being married. Somehow their paths crossed and as they got to know each other, they began to envision their future with each other in mind. I was fortunate to witness their vow and commitment to each other. It was hard to find a dry eye in the room as the bride walked down the aisle.
For the ceremony, the couple had chosen to say their own, personally written vows. When it was the bride’s turn, she said something that I’ll probably never forget. She said, “Sometimes I have to pinch myself to believe that I’m here, with you. I’m so thankful for your love and total acceptance of me. Your love… it’s changing me.”
I used to think that being with someone who changes me is a bad thing. After all, if that person really loved me, they would accept me just as I am. I guess there are definitely instances of change in a bad way, but I’m not referring to that here. I’m thinking more about that simple and profound gift of being totally loved by someone… It changes us. Love allows me to be who I am without pretense. Love takes down my defenses and nudges me to look into the eyes of another. Love leaves me vulnerable. It leave me open and unguarded, and it also feels altogether safe and freeing. Love gives me the courage to try. It makes me a stronger person. True love accepts me as I am but doesn’t leave me the way I am.
Love changes people. Earthly marriage isn’t perfect but it can certainly be a glimpse of true love.
How appropriate that the couple asked us to sing this song during the ceremony:
Congratulations, Judy and Bob. May your love for each other raise you up and change you.