When two friends from church came to me and asked if we could meet about the possibility of joining them on their wedding celebration, I was moved. They would be getting married in Iowa officially and commemorating the ceremony here in Minnesota in the backyard of a friends' house on a lake. Snow drifts that would never leave created an opportunity that these two never thought possible: to get married inside their home church. Both come from important faith backgrounds, Mark a graduate of Bethel University, and Joel being the son of a pastor. To quote a line from their ceremony, "No two people have had to work harder to get to the altar than these two." I would tend to agree. In their deep desire to be normal, these two are far from it.
I have never met two guys so crazy about kids! Mark being a family therapist and Joel, an elementary Spanish teacher, joy for children and the light they bring became a theme for the day: Light & Grace. The church was filled with the sweet chatter of Joel's school kids as Hillsong's anthem escalated and the two entered the sanctuary bringing with each a single light to pass around to all. There was not a dry eye in the room. Following their written promises, they bounded out the doors to throw on their yellow galoshes and off we went to a nearby park to play in puddles. How fitting! The sunshine did not disappoint, and as it faded, good beer and snacks awaited us back at PNA Hall, along with some fine dancing. There was much to celebrate! As they slipped out the door at the end of the night, I overheard a tearful Joel say to Mark, "This IS the best day of my entire life."