there was this girl, jenny, whom I used to teach with, and i remember getting into one of those lunchtime conversations: she'd boasted in a delightfully i've-got-a-secret-that-you-want-to-know sort of way that she'd married the same man three times. the table was transfixed and slightly ill-at-ease all at the same time, as you hear those stories of love and marriage and divorce and remarriage when the identical twins reunite at summer camp and then switch places, forcing their parents to meet up again and fall in love .... starring Haley Mills and Haley Mills. But somehow Jenny had managed to meet and marry the same man three times in real wedding and civic wedding and fake wedding sort of way.
I was always jealous of that - i mean, i hadn't even had one wedding, and here she was able to stump all of us with three weddings under her belt. so my competitive self is glad that i'm catching up to jenny with two weddings under my belt, as of yesterday.
we had a young life wedding, and the one word I've used to describe it is endearing. it was endearing to have our family of parents and kids, leaders and committee, and other friends of young life surround james and me with just as much enthusiasm and heart as august 21st. tears were shed, snorts were had, christ was present and we felt renewed and believed in and fully supported, both in ministry and personally. i loved it when alan, our friend and 63-ish year old leader, asked who gives this woman to this man. All the young life kids were standing up front with james and me - the guys on james' side, and the ladies on mine - and those young men looked at each other and bellowed, WE DO! with all the gusto they could manage.
it was delightful and utterly heartwarming all at the same time.
it's funny, because as we were talking about what this day would be like, it's almost like we felt like we were chalking up a mark on the chalkboard of good deeds. the wedding on the 21st was about us, but this, this day was for everyone else - for those friends whom you associate with in all things of the heart ministry-wise, but they don't really know you. they're not really "your people."
I was wrong.
they are my people.
they do know me.
this day was for them, but it was for us as well. these are my everyday people. i may not be pouring out my guts to the teenage boys proudly standing up there next to james, but week in, week out, we're seeing the ups and downs in each other's lives. we're seeing when we're tired and when we're celebratory; we're seeing each other when we've had a hard day, and when we can't seem to get out of the sludge our feet are stuck in.
these are my people.
and I embrace that which is before me.