This post is to honor my mother and father in 63 years of marriage. I was cooking and getting ready for their meal, when VCU called about an issue regarding my course that I teach. I told her I needed to continue cooking while we talk. “We are celebrating my parent’s 63 years of marriage tonight! Can you imagine? 63 years!” She laughed, and said in an exasperated tone that made me chuckle, “No, I can’t!” She then shared some quick humorous things going on in her home and marriage, and I could relate. She’s much younger than me, but I understood. How the years fly by, and all the things we worried about in our marriage come down to one thing in the end–steadfast love. You go from arguing over who will do the dishes or clean the bathroom to seeing every day as gift. We woke up together, and we can spend this day together.
I’ve written many posts about my parents and their marriage. Today, I want to send a simple message of love.
I’m grateful that my parents embraced the evening with passion and joy. A simple meal with family was their delight. Within the ordinary the sacred is revealed if we look for it, choose to embrace it, and honor the gift. I’m away on vacation at the moment, and my quiet time on the porch reminded me of the sacred moments in our lives. I closed my eyes, and, in prayer, I asked the Spirit to reveal Himself. He revealed Himself through my senses. I began to worship and spoke aloud, “I see you God in all the intricate details of nature, like the unusual bark on the tree. I smell you God in the earth and flowers. I feel you God in the breeze blowing through the screen. I hear you God in the sounds of birds singing, and the far off distance sounds of people working, going about their day, and talking. I taste you God in the sweetness of your Word, and the cup of coffee you provided for me this morning.”
So, too, was the sacred time of our joining together in fellowship, food, prayer, gifts, and song. The music of a baby crying and laughing. The love songs shared. The wonderful taste of shared food and cooking. The gifts to honor them that included a very excited four year old helping. She celebrated all day with cleaning, cheering us on, and picking her dress up clothes for the evening. The most sacred was the pause. Pausing for just enough time to recognize love and breathe it in.
In our vacation home, we have a Torii gate in the front yard. A Torii is to honor Japanese Shinto shrines. Your passage through the gate symbolizes leaving the ordinary and entering the sacred. This large gate helps us pause to assure that we will change our mindset and honor the moment.
I would like to challenge us to wake up each morning and enter the gates of God’s gift–another day filled with sacred moments. We choose how to view a moment. We choose to hear, see, feel, smell, taste in ways that can fill us up and bring delight. Our God surrounds us in overwhelming ways that sometimes we miss it. Slow down. Be still. Know that He is God.
Enter his gates with thanksgiving and his courts with praise; give thanks to him and praise his name.
As you watch the videos and see the pictures of our evening, I hope you have time to pause and see steadfast love. Our family is overwhelmed during these difficult times, just like you. The pandemic has raced through our home robbing of us our joy and sanity. We have to choose the sacred to get us through. I’m reminded of connections. I love how Adelaide escorted my mom and dad into our sacred celebration. The purposeful decision to leave the ordinary and enter into the sacredness of family and love. The video at the end shows my dad’s realization of the song playing– a song he sang to my mom on their 60th anniversary celebration. In that moment they both realized the sacred.