It was cold and crisp that morning, but the sun shone beautifully on the New Year. The snow stuck to the branches and sparkled on the ground. After a night of fitful sleep, I left my apartment early. It was my wedding day.
I grabbed my fathers arm and we walked around the corner, a sea of familiar faces smiling at me and every one stood. I looked at my father, he swallowed hard and I had to look away so that I wouldn’t cry. From the balcony, crisp and beautiful, the choir sang…
Ubi caritas et amor, Deus ibi est
Congregavit nos in unum Christi amor
Exultamus et in ipso jucundemure
Timeamus et ameamus Deum vivum
Et excorde diligamus nos sincero
(Translation: Where there is charity and love, God is there
The love of Christ has gathered us into one
Let us rejoice in Him and be glad
Let us fear and let us love the living God
And from a sincere heart let us love one another).
The rest of my wedding was a blur, every bride will tell you. I remember beautiful words from my father and father-in-law, songs and toasts, so much food and wine. I remember dozens and dozens of friends volunteering their time (some last minute) so that everything would come together. Friends were cooking and setting up the reception and assembling centerpieces and vacuuming the church. I remember sisters, new sisters, little sisters, and sisters in Christ, surrounding me as I prepared for my wedding that morning with gifts and words and hugs. But the thing I remember the most was the choir as I walked with my father, singing Latin words about Christ and His love and how His love gathers us together, and then seeing so many friends pour out kindness and love without any recognition or return. It’s like the words took shape right before my eyes, teaching me what is really means to love.
Where there is love, God is there. Love is learning to see something from someone else’s perspective and anticipate their needs. Jesus says it: do unto others as you would have them do unto you. Jesus did it; He took on flesh to see from our perspective.
Love is the same in marriage. It is like putting on someone else’s prescription glasses. At first it can be awkward and fuzzy, especially if you have different perspectives on a lot of things. But as you let yourself be influenced by each other your eye site changes and you start to see more clearly than you saw before. My memories from before I was married are fuzzy, as if I didn’t really know how to see the world. I have had to adjust, to see a new perspective, and I can say for certain that I love Jon’s glasses much better than my own. His perspective has changed the way I see everything, and his perspective has taught me so much about love.
(Photos by Peter Roise)