I’m going to depart from my normal blog post, since a very important event (a celebration really) happened this past weekend. My Dad got re-married this past weekend in my hometown of Enterprise, AL to a wonderful lady, my new step-mom, Suzanne. What a joy it was for my brother Allen and me to officiate the wedding. Not only did we both officiate, but we both sang and played our respective instruments during the celebration. My wife Deanna also sang “The Lord’s Prayer,” my sister read scripture, and my eldest brother Warren was the best man, aka “eye candy.” 😉
To say it was (and still is) a roller coaster of emotions is putting it lightly. When our mom died a little over 4 years ago, not one of us four children lived near my hometown. We wanted to be there for my Dad, but distance made it difficult. We hoped and prayed for God to comfort my Dad as he grieved. Boy, was God faithful. The community of Enterprise is very special. Scores and scores of his friends made sure he stayed active and connected to church, community, and to the many social events in the area. Shortly thereafter, Dad was asked to join the Coffee County Arts Alliance where we would become reacquainted with the President of that organization, my new step-mother. It didn’t take long for us to realize that Dad seemed happier and soon we found out he was dating her. As their relationship blossomed, so did our love for her.
When my Dad told us he wanted to marry her (after 3 years of dating), he was worried about how we would feel about it and didn’t want us to think that he didn’t still miss my Mom and still loved her. But, we know that…and that was confirmed when my Dad said in his vows that he was lucky to have loved 2 women and for them to love him back. Love expands and grows. I’m convinced that he is happy. His love for Suzanne is strong and yet it doesn’t diminish any love for my mom. We are happy he is happy and excited about this next chapter.
I am reminded that families change, expand, and take on new personalities; churches experience this as well. Because the core of our church is centered on the mission, we always have room to grow, expand, take risks to love and invite new people, but ultimately, we are constantly evolving and morphing. Without change we stop growing. We cease to be unified in one purpose.
Our family has welcomed new persons into our family. Yes, it’s been weird, but we are stronger together than we were apart. The church should mirror this behavior: be welcoming, value the talents of all generations in the church, refuse to give up when conflict arises, but mostly, love one another deeply as Christ as loved us and gave Himself up for us.
“Eye-Candy Warren” prays for the meal and a special blessing on the couple.