For some, the days after Christmas can be a letdown. The presents are opened and the feasts are finished. But for me and my family, it was anything but a letdown. What we all felt was a glimmer of heaven. Here’s what happened.
My oldest daughter got married right after Christmas, and it was an added thrill for me to walk her and her new husband through the ceremony, exhorting them about marriage and then leading them through their vows. It's a privilege few fathers ever experience. But however elegant the wedding seemed, the real surprise came afterwards.
The huge reception hall had been transformed into a magical wonderland. Each table sported a small tree as a centerpiece complete with birds wired to its branches. Around the tree were all manner of jars, each glowing with a lit candle. To finish off the look, each table possessed a large glass jug filled with water, greenery, and cranberries. The cake table itself was magnificently decked out with tree stumps of various sizes, each with a cake prepared by a friend. After the sumptuous dinner, the night’s activities included a massive photo booth, a coffee bar, and a lighted dance floor.
But to describe it this way feels like substituting a stroll through a palace with a glance at its blueprints. There was something beyond words, an aura in that room, lit with everyone’s presence. There were hugs and smiles wherever I went, with warm conversations that began only to be ended too quickly as others came forward to speak. But it wasn’t just me. Everyone felt the magic. Heidi told me later she felt so free in that moment, free to be herself and enjoy the love of others. One friend had his coat on for over an hour, unable to leave just yet. Another dear friend told me it was the most beautiful wedding she had ever witnessed. It’s as if we were all transported for a few short hours into a terrain of wonder, sparkling with beauty, where everyone reflected a supernal light, the light of love, the light of His presence.
But alas—it all ended. The newlyweds left, the guests left, and the hall was stripped and left bare. As I walked back into it the next day, a sadness overcame me, the sadness of something lost, of that glimmer of heaven lost.
But one day, God willing, we will enter and never lose it.
This is the solid hope for 2015, the only hope for 2015. God bless you all in this new year!
Abigail and Richie dancing for the first time as a married couple!