It was frenetic.
Rushing from one place to another, we tried in vain to complete everything on time. People were late. Things had gone wrong. The kids could not grasp the concept of doing anything quickly today.
But now, the frenzy forgotten. Stillness. What was not done would remain undone.
A buzz of happy chatter swelled then, inexplicably, lulled almost to silence before swelling again. We were here, gathered with one purpose. The excitement was almost tangible.
I saw a movement at the back of the church. Just outside the great west door they had arrived. She had arrived. An expectant hush descended…
“Ladies and gentlemen,” announced the vicar, “please rise for the bride.” The congregation stood to their feet, phones and cameras held aloft. Music filled the air.
With the exception of the vicar, I had the best view of the proceedings. Together with the other musicians, I could easily see the length of the church. The pageboys, flower girls and the bridesmaids processed down the aisle. I chuckled to myself as I saw my boys taking their turn, one of them casually sauntering down with one hand shoved in his pocket. Some people have no sense of decorum!
Finally the bride and her father made their way slowly and confidently toward the vicar, toward the groom and toward their future.
Perhaps it’s just my age? Maybe it’s a naive sense of wonder and the knowledge of the back story? Perhaps it’s a vague understanding of a bigger narrative? Whatever it was, once again my eyes filled; this was an emotional moment. History was being made.
I was taken back to my own wedding day. I was emotional back then too. I thought of the vows I made; we’ve had plenty of the “sickness” and “poorer” in the years since but, for the moment, all of that was forgotten. I longed to be sitting in the congregation with my bride, to squeeze her hand as this new couple made their vows.
Then came the charge to the congregation. “Will you, the families and friends, support and uphold them in their marriage now and in the years to come?” A loud, “We will!” reverberated around the church.
To be sure, they will need it.
There have been times when we’ve been able to support friends who were struggling. A smile. A listening ear. Simple practical helps to lighten a dark day.
We’ve needed the love, support and encouragement of those close to us too. But why, oh why, do we draw back from asking? Especially when we wouldn’t think twice about helping someone who asked the same of us?
Yes, we’ve had to learn the humility to ask for help sometimes.
How can you help someone today? It doesn’t have to be something big. It’s attention to the little things that makes the difference.
Do you need help? Please, don’t be too proud to ask.