Tuesday, April 20, 2010

Dearly Beloved....

“For this reason a man will leave his father and mother and be united to his wife, and the two will become one flesh. So they are no longer two, but one.” Mark 10:7-8

A funny thing happened while I was cooking Wednesday night’s meal today at the church – a wedding!

About 1:00pm, a boy (ok, I guess he’s a man now if he’s married) whom I thought was about 12 until I saw him in his military fatigues at church on Sunday, and his girlfriend came in looking for the Pastor. They had funny looks on their faces (think deer in the headlights) and he was carrying an envelope. Pastor was still out to lunch, but since I don’t usually know anything, I directed them to ask the keeper of the preschool. She’s in the know about schedules and such.

Then I see exasperated couple and director of the preschool heading up the hall as I continue to stir my rice. The crafting group was just getting settled in the next room. One of the ladies even caught the couple on their way out of the church and spoke with them briefly. Matrimonials never came up!

Imagine our surprise when Jo, our preschool director, comes into the kitchen where several of us were chewing the fat, with a bouquet of fake flowers and a veil that I recognized from the Princess Jasmine dress up outfit in my Sunday School room. I said, half jokingly, “What’d they do, get married?”

And sure enough they had! In less than 20 minutes, this boy and girl had become husband and wife. They had eaten lunch at Arby’s, and then came to the church to get married in shorts and tennis shoes. His plane was leaving at 4:30pm for California. I guess there are housing issues for marrying couples that needed to be settled. Some of the ladies said that they thought the actual wedding would take place sometime in May.

I hate to tell them, but today was the actual wedding! No amount of pomp and splendor or witnesses will make them any more married than they were today. It was just the two of them, the Pastor, and Jo. No parents, no siblings, nada. I’m guessing the Princess Jasmine veil was the something borrowed, and I only hope someone took at least one picture with their camera phone or something. I also hope they told their parents that today was no ordinary Tuesday!

And then for the rest of the day, I was shot! I kept reliving my own wedding, and the lack of knowledge of it on behalf of my in-laws in Russia. His mother called in the middle of the night screaming and crying. They were not happy that their 18-year-old only child had married an American woman. They thought I was too pale (must be sick all the time), too thin (obviously couldn’t cook), and I was 21, so I must have MADE him marry me. Then there was the common speculation that he’d married me for a green card. Then there was the fact that we hadn’t even known each other six months. And all the paperwork I had to complete on my foreign husband! What a trip.

I see some similarities in my story and the story that unfolded today - paperwork, youth, Arby’s, lack of parental witness, an odd something borrowed. (Tube socks – you figure it out!)

For the record, the in-laws warmed up to me and even think I look a little Russian. It HAS been 12 years, after all. Oh, and their Russian son is now an American, although we argue about that term.

I hope the newlyweds will include today as part of their wedding story, even though they probably feel like it wasn’t their REAL wedding. I wish they’d taken the veil and flowers with them as mementos. I think it will make a great story to tell their grandkids someday!

So if you see me stealing some flowers and a dress up outfit from the church tomorrow, remember it is for a good cause. Congratulations to the happy couple! And thanks for the memories! I hope I’m not spilling the beans!

“Therefore what God has joined together, let man not separate.” Mark 10:9


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