Patrick, our oldest son, married Melody Strom this past Sunday afternoon. I was struck with the richness of the event. Of course, the food was good, the ceremony was heart-tugging, the reception celebratory, full of laughter and dancing hearts. Melody was beautiful, and Patrick was a bucket of tears, as was most of his immediate family. If the Curries have a family trait, it is probably that we blubber all over ourselves in our happiest moments. What a way to show happiness!
Every wedding has its own endearing surprises. For almost everyone, this particular wedding’s memories will include the challenge of finding the way to the Marquardt Ranch. Some said the directions were erroneous, others incomplete, and then others simply had trouble knowing left and right. Yet the wedding itself did not take a wrong turn. The scenic ride to the Marquardt Ranch was filled with crossing streams of running water, discovering fields of Texas Bluebonnets, and even spotting deer and turkey along the way. Split rail fences, stone fences, and fences made of mesquite posts stacked side-by-side.
The ranch itself was a beautiful stone structure atop a shady hill, surrounded by pastures and fields. The bride and groom exchanged their vows overlooking a beautiful flowing stream bordered on the opposite bank by yellow wildflowers. Although the day was overcast and threatened rain, the spirits of the guests were not dampened in the least. A middle eastern tune played by the DJ called forth the Arab Debka dance , Patrick riding on the shoulders of his brother Will and Greg Marconi. Soon Texas seemed to be a middle-eastern melting pot, Greek music playing, Patricia and the Jajeh family leading the Debka according to their Palestinian heritage, and several people joining in because they thought it was a Jewish dance. Such is the beauty of cultures and families coming together in a wedding.
I was struck by how rich we are in friends and people. The Strom family was gracious and worthy of the occasion. Randy and Jody, Melody’s parents, were the reception hosts, generously sharing their joy with everyone. Several of the local San Antonio church community gave of themselves to decorate, bake and clean up at the end. The out of town visitors from both families added so much with their presence and sacrifice. Nebraska, Ohio, Colorado, California, Alabama, Tennessee, and Texas all celebrated together. Farmers, doctors, lawyers, geeks, educators, all entered into unity to savor the moment, to share the joy of the day.
I withdrew for a few moments and walked outside to the edge of the little cliff overlooking the winding Joshua River. I simply gave thanks. For the marriage. For marriage as God’s idea. For family. For community that thrives and rejoices when marriage is honored and upheld as a gift from God to us. For the depth of a God-honoring community that spans miles and states and continents. For the contribution that each new person brings to our lives and to the lives of our children.
Once again the hope of God rose up in me. The next generation will be blessed.In the midst of frustrations, struggles, and pain, there is still joy in the journey. The cause of Christ will continue to spread and grow throughout the earth and throughout time. And our greatest riches are in the people that God has joined with us.
O Lord, I have learned
To compose my soul in quietness
Like a child content in mommy’s lap
I don’t ask you for a thing.
O people, let us learn
That our hope is in the Highest;
From now until forever,
It is He who makes us sing.