I had promised some folks that I would get this online this weekend. So, here it is.
It is said that God celebrates us, every day. But sometimes we miss it in the hubbub of our responsibilities to others and ourselves. When an opportunity comes to celebrate someone in your life, consider truly being intentional. Be honest and in accordance with the one you’re celebrating.
In my case, I had the opportunity to be God’s messenger a handful of years ago with regard to my bride. She had one of those milestone birthdays and I had been traveling for work (26 solid weeks that year and 4 more). No, I was to make sure it was not the downer and farcical celebration that many have for this milestone. I was prompted to make it a point to celebrate her life.
In particular, I knew that she was having a hard time building friendships where we lived at the time, despite us being there for 3 1/2 years by then. It was important to recognize those friendships that she had maintained since high school as well. Since I had nothing else to do in a hotel room in the evening other than Skype, play Civ 4, and watch So You Think You Can Dance, I stalked (really) friends of hers from over the years. I was not on Facebook, so it was all through Google and really really challenging!
The people I wanted to “invite” into the project were her maid of honor, the wife of the pastor who married us (a dear friend of my bride’s), a professor from her graduate school days, and her best friend in Texas. I found them all, though.
The dinner was held in a private room at one of the historical restaurants in town. They weren’t too sure what to do when I said I wanted to bring in a weapon. “Like a gun?” “No, a sword actually,” I responded. “Oh, okay, will it be in a box or something? We can’t have other guests getting nervous.”
But, they let me bring the sword (Arwen’s sword, Hadhafang, from Lord of the Rings) and a cake from outside.
God and I had a difference of opinion about the sword. Seriously. He told me “sword” and I remembered her saying she wanted an ipod.
A nice dinner with my family of 4, two other families of 4, and a single friend of several years, all offering my bride honor to celebrate her life, followed up with the reading of each letter from that special friend in her past. Tears flowed. She had no idea how I was able to get so much accomplished while being on travel. Truth be told, I probably got more accomplished being on travel than I would have if I was home.
Before the cake, though, gifts, and a single card, signed God. Yep. I can say He told me to do it, along with presenting all the girls and ladies in the room with flowers. Yes, it was important to celebrate my bride, but also to celebrate our friendships.
All of this was done through prayer and crowdsourcing the ideas with other men with whom I was walking through some processes at the time. Men for whom I am grateful. Men whose voices have been life-affirming. That, too, is something to celebrate.
And remember, when God tells you to purchase a sword, you just can’t argue with that. You simply buy the sword.