To experience true beauty, in its purest form–untamed, unprimped—is to experience the life we are meant to live. It is Shalom. Restoration. Heaven.
And so it goes, if anything will draw me out of a writing drought, it is beauty–of the sacred sort. The kind that is an essence, yes seen, but also felt. It stirs you from the inside and makes you feel alive. Free.
Friends and family gathered from all points, a fellowship quilt, to witness and wrap this infant promise. Every attendee brought the gift of presence. It was an offering of service, skill, and savvy. No matter how humble, all weddings require work. And whether a need was presented or just observed, everyone was essential for the vision to be realized.
She wore silk in the same shade as the golden hour in which she spoke her vows. She and her Groom donned crowns of foraged flora with ties down their backs which her son and his daughter joined to tie the knot. A new family born.
A Woman led the proceedings. She confessed her initial reservations to do so as one in whose traditions this was not done. Yet, esteeming relationship, she submitted to the request of the couple. And she called them to love deep—spoken words that made each heart beat braver.
With a song we circled, celebrating love cultivated and sealed with an unprompted kiss. The promise of each individual’s power used for the benefit of the other. Dynamic power surrendered = love incarnate.
We broke bread together (well tacos actually because this is Austin after all), and toasted the story of redemption, with laughter and tears because there is no one way to feel a birth. It is everything all at once. It is to be naked and unafraid.
So under the stars in the glory of it all, we danced.
And when it was time to move back in to the rhythm of life, we rolled away the tables, washed the dishes, returned to the distance from which we came, and relished in the beauty shared for a moment. Longing, to live happily ever after.
It was Shalom sipped. Beauty beckoning to a bigger truth: our happily ever after is coming.
Oh how easily my life gets derailed by fret over all the details, entangled by fear, and hindered by my thwarted need to control. But the antidote arrives not in more, or in rules, or even balance. If each of us is to be fully alive, it will come through surrender. We more easily see and are seen when Love calls us to our place rather than American Dream achieved, traditions upheld, or security deposited.
As if in a dream within a dream, I am swept up out of this time and space to our bigger reality: we are a collective Bride. Love Incarnate waits at the end of the aisle. All Image Bearers are Beloved Betrothed, dripping with grace. All scars will be witnessed, felt, and made beautiful—everything made right, at last. We will toast the story of the Creator Restorer. Jesus Himself will raise His cup and drink with us in communion so sweet I can hardly breathe to think of it.
And we will dance.
Everyone’s offerings required for the vision to be realized.Each individual’s power deferred for the good of the other.
I don’t know if we will wash dishes in those days, too, or if it will be more of a Hogwart’s situation. For now, just the taste of it resets my resolve—I am Shalom Bringer.
Thank you, sister, for letting us all partake in beauty’s story.
Simple Gifts, by Joseph Brackett
‘Tis the gift to be simple, ’tis the gift to be free
‘Tis the gift to come down where we ought to be,
And when we find ourselves in the place just right,
‘Twill be in the valley of love and delight.
When true simplicity is gained,
To bow and to bend we shan’t be ashamed,
To turn, turn will be our delight,
Till by turning, turning we come ’round right.