Playful, Pius or Remembered Stuff

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Tuesday, March 31, 2009

Wedding Reflections

I think it was the first time in my life that we attended two weddings in the same week. In fact one was Thursday and the other was on Saturday. And since Barbara and I were participants in the second wedding, we also participated in rehearsal on Friday. So three days in a row were involved in weddings. That's a bit much, even for great fans of weddings. Guys aren't really into weddings. As a minister, caring for the souls in my congregation, I always said I looked for a great marriage. Forget the performance of the wedding.

Thursday's wedding was a Korean-American couple who are in our church. The wedding, predictably, was a mixture of two cultures. I forgot how formal my Korean friends can be for such things, and so I was only one of three guys there without a tie. My wife surveyed the scene and whispered to me, "Aren't you sorry you didn't wear a tie?" Unhesitatingly I answered in the negative. Ties are detrimental to the health of men. But that's another blog.

The two mothers lighting the candles is American tradition, but when they are costumed in colorful Korean garb it evidences the double culture. The reception featured no less than 21 different food platters at the buffet (no, I didn't count, but friends did). Beef, pork, shrimp, octopus, glass noodles, veggies, salads, etc. were offered. I've never seen a more generous supply of celebrant entrees in my life. The kimchi and certain non-descript combinations were certain evidence that it was a Korean event. Our stacking chairs in fellowship hall were unrecognizeable because they had been clothed in decorous white from seatback to the floor.

But the clearly outstanding memory of this wedding was the bride's processional to the strains of a delightful arrangement of "Jesus Loves Me." This too was distinctly Korean inasmuch as the bride proceded with her head bowed, properly demure, as a humble young lady might be. She forgot to lift her head at the recessional, but her husband corrected that. The only dissapointment for me was the kiss. It was barely a peck! Guests lobbied the couple to make amends for this during the reception, however.

The next wedding was simple (no attendants) and traditional. Tony Curto tied the knot. He was flown out to do the job because he is a childhood buddy of Tim Tierney, the groom. This is the wedding that resulted from the providential meeting of Tim and Susan Lee during Family Camp 2008. Just two years ago we all wept over the sudden death of Bob Lee, and not one of us could have anticipated this--especially Susan herself. If was just one of those things! Susan was acting like a giddy teen ager.

Sally left some of her great flowers in the church for Susan's wedding, and it worked out great. The place was full. Susan had friends from her art world, from teaching contacts, from Grace Church and from Faith Church as well as Tim's friends and his church family in San Marcos. The whole Presbytery knows this couple because of Family camp.

I was asked to offer prayer for this new union, and thought I might say what I really wanted to say if I made notes. So when a friend asked me for a copy of my prayer, and I promised to publish it in this blog. I dug up my notes and offer you this reasonable facsimile as the conclusion of today's blog:

"O Lord, we thank you for your providence which has brought this couple together. We ask you to give them faithfulness to keep the vows of the covenant of marriage which we have just heard. We pray they will enjoy the excitement as lovers, the comfort of best friends, that they will be given the wisdom to know how and when to compromise and the grace to imitate You and forgive each other.

"We pray that in this sinful and adulterous generation they will be living examples of the bliss You designed marriage to be.

"We pray they may share the goal of being like Jesus, and know how to coach each other along tht path.

"We pray that You will fill their home with the warmth of Your love, that all who enter there will know that Jesus reigns in this place.

"And this we ask in the name of our great Savior, Jesus Christ."

Thursday, March 26, 2009

I passed to the fourth grade on trial. I still have the report card to prove it, though I'm not at all sure why I have kept it all these years. Anyway, when I began fourth grade I discovered the most boring, humorless teacher of my brief academic career. Ironically, her name was Mrs. Lance.

She expected us to copy her outlines of social studies from the blackboard (yes, they were black in the old days) to our papers. I found the tedium so inhibiting that I never seemed to get my work done. I was certain that my education was about to be impaled by Mrs. Lance.

For some reason I have never known, Mrs. Lance had to leave in the middle of the semester. God is good! Enter Miss Gardette. She soon became my educational savior. Miss Gardette was determined to make us interested enough to learn. She discovered that I had a vivid imagination, and she went to work on me.

I was encouraged to write silly, outrageous stories and read them to the class. My classmates were amused and seemed to enjoy my performances. So there was something in school that I could do with success. In God's wonderful providence Miss Gardette also moved with our class to the fifth grade, and again to the sixth grade. When we left Rockdale Elementary for Junior High School, Miss Gardette also left to get married. I would like to have met her later in life and thank her, but since I'm such an aged codger now, she has probably been laid to rest for many years.

Opportunities to write have met me all along the way since those days. Because my composition appeared in the creative arts program in high school, I was given the option to opt out of the regular English curriculum, and I took journalism. Turns out that Manual Arts High School was the only high school west of the Rockies to publish a daily paper, and I had a place on the staff. I still like to write and therefore here I am launching my blogging career with this recital of unlikely personal history. I hope someone reads it and enjoys it.