Grace, Marriage, and Living

30 05 2008

Travis Harris asking Kelsey to marry him off the coast of Africa where they will serve Christ together.

There we were, sitting in the covered pavilion lit by candlelight and waiting on my nephew’s beautiful bride to arrive for their wedding.  At precisely two minutes before the wedding’s scheduled beginning, my cell phone rang.  “I cannot believe I am one of those people who forget to turn their cell off at occasions like this!  I am a pastor for crying out loud,” I thought to myself as I tried to inconspicuously answer.  “Darian,” my wife said on the other end, “I thought I would get your voice mail.  Mrs. Ginny just died.  I thought you would want to know.”

Only a few weeks before, we had celebrated Mrs. Ginny’s 95th birthday at a local restaurant with a number of our church family.  We laughed, smiled and even teared up a little as we listened to her stories of welcoming back the “Dough Boys” from World War I when she was a young girl, stories about teaching Sunday school to our community children, and of her life with her husband Howard (whom Ginny called Dan).  I had visited Ginny in the hospital shortly before leaving for my flight back home to Georgia and knew she probably would not make it until I returned.  We prayed and she told me she was ready to see Christ and be reunited with her beloved Dan.  She had missed him terribly since his death and we had prayed over her loneliness more than once.

Just as I closed the cell phone, an antique truck blasted its horn as it announced the arrival of Travis’ beautiful bride.  It was one of the most beautiful and Christ-centered weddings I had ever attended.  However, I could not help but think upon Ginny and Howard as I watched my nephew and Kelsey exchange their vows and make a covenant before God and His church to live their lives together in service to Him. 

I bowed my head as the wedding continued and prayed, “Lord, give them the grace they will need to keep the vows they are making.  They will never make it in their own strength.  Pour out your grace upon them and let their marriage reflect that grace to a world in such need of it.”  I looked up in time to hear Travis and Kelsey pronounced husband and wife, see their wedding kiss and watch them depart as the bells rang.

Later, I heard the story of Mrs. Ginny’s passing more fully and was amazed at how our Lord works.  Seconds before she entered the presence of her Lord, Ginny began to have a radiance in her face and a slight smile.  “I see the Lord,” she said.  “Dan is with Him.  They’re waiting on me.”

I thank God for the mercy He gave Ginny as she passed, for the grace of her salvation, for the living grace He gave her in life and marriage.  I thank God for the grace He has given Travis and Kelsey for their salvation and ministry together.  I pray they will lean upon Him as they journey through life.  As I pray these things and think upon them God’s Spirit speaks, “Go tell your wife you love her.  She needs to hear it from you more often than she does.  Go be an example of grace in your own marriage.”  Maybe He is telling you the same thing. 

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7 responses

30 05 2008
Terri Harris

I really enjoyed the article. I enjoyed the wedding even more. It was so good to see you. Thanks for coming. Terri

31 05 2008
Stormy

That is beautiful!
I just loved how you tied in Ginny and Dan being reunited and Travis and Kelsey be united. It got me all teary!
And you are right -we all need to remind our spouses that we love them. We think it is “assumed” but it needs to be said more often.
Keep the grace flowing!

31 05 2008
merlotmudpies

Encouragement heard and noted. Getting up from my desk right now. More thoughts in a little bit…and Thank you.

1 06 2008
~keith

Yesterday Marlene and I attended a wedding of a young couple in love, and I was once again reminded of God plan and provision for our lives. Living together in His service in one accord (1*1*1=1), because a cord of three strands is not quickly broken.

2 06 2008
Mrs. Claus

No matter how many times you say it, no one ever gets tired of hearing “I love you” and I never get tired of saying it. By the way, I love you, too!

10 06 2008
Heidi

That was an awesome blog entry! You are a great storyteller… It was so good seeing you at the wedding!

17 06 2008
dpcpastor

Thank you Heidi! It was wonderful to see you. My only regret was that none of us ever seem to have enough time. Your children are beutiful! We will be home for two weeks starting next week and staying at the cabin in Rome. We would love to see you guys if you are up that way.

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