Monday, July 28, 2008

Putting off the honeymoon

A last post about D's wedding, though now we're nine days beyond it, and the newlyweds are firmly ensconced back home surrounded by her least for this week.

Surrounded by family--that's what they were last week-end. Hers, his, descending from all corners of this country. Her aunt came from Florida, my sister came from Southern California, her brother from Michigan, E from Colorado, the rest of our family tumbling in from D's home state of Washington. That reminds me, I was at a store in Plymouth, MA, buying J a belt to go with his kilt, and cashier asked where I was from. When I said, "The state of Washington," she told me she has a cousin who also lives in DC. I politely (though I might have been rolling my eyes inside) explained the difference--"The state is on the other side of the country from DC." "Oh,"she said. "It's right by California, right?" It was easier to say yes than find a map, but with my assent, I allowed Oregon, which has done me no harm and did give me two college degrees, to fall into the Pacific Ocean. But, as usual, I digress.

So there we all were from the far-flung parts of this country, with only a few days together, even fewer days with DCC and EAC (their initials are soo alphabetical--for people who like patterns, they sure have one using the first five letters, clumped at the middle one as they do), if they escaped us for that most intimate of all rituals--the Honeymoon. But they didn't escape us. Embracing what we brought them--weirdness, wit and all our other peccadillos-- the newlyweds decided it was more important to spend time with us than to leave immediately following the reception. After all, when would that many birds of our unique feather flock together back their way again? Not in their lifetimes, probably, and you sure don't get to enjoy your family when they've flown in for your own funeral, more's the pity. So DC & EC put off the honeymoon until the last of us left for the airport, two days later. They spent time and energy with us, and showed us their town, gave us the time to get to know them as a couple--as a family with EC's two wonderful sons. It was quite the sacrifice in one sense. I know they were anxious to be alone, but they were also so glad to be with everyone, to enjoy the best that our particular brand of family has to offer. They didn't have to have done it. Most couples drive away from the party and don't look back. When we got married, Beve's brother flew in all the way from Finland and that didn't hold us up any, even if we hadn't seen him in a couple years. Sorry to say. We had our eyes firmly fixed on each other. I remember the regret that we'd be missing time with him, but it didn't change our plans.

But this putting off of the honeymoon is a lot like how we live with Christ. He told his disciples that they couldn't follow Him, but that He'd be back for them. The Father was building a mansion for us all. In the meantime, we were given a Comforter to live with us--in us--and we were given each other. The whole family doing life together, being the Body together. Putting off the honeymoon, where we get to be in His presence, gaze to our heart's content at our Beloved, the one we're all in this together for, anyway. Jesus. His very name is beloved. Isn't it? I sometimes picture that day, seeing Him face to face, what I only see by faith now. To tell the truth, sometimes I get really impatient for it. But He asked us to put off the honeymoon, in fellowship with each other and impacting the world. So we live this way, between wedding--the moment we pledge our lives to Him-- and honeymoon--the moment we enter His throneroom--all of our lives. It's not such a bad way to live, after all. All that anticipation, all that hope of heaven. And these days between have much to offer, after all. I can wait for it.

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