We wept because we knew they understood the choosing of love. Love chooses—when life gets hard and the ropes pull, and the knots push against one another—it will be the choice made in and by love that will hold them. The knot of this choice will hold and steady Olivia and Nolan until the pressure of life’s circumstances releases.
Olivia reached for her words from me. I held out the narrow slips of paper marked and written in her round manuscript. She looked down at them and spoke. Choreographed words danced forward, soft and tranquil. Her words poured out like oil—anointing him. She too spoke of choosing, and she promised always to cook his eggs over easy.
The pastor, our friend, asked for the rings to seal what they exchanged—these covenants in the presence of witnesses, in the presence of God.
During the whole time, I watched them. Observed the glances and the looks passing through the space between them. I would notice it again later in the evening at the wedding supper. Across the space of a table, I sat diagonally from them in full view of their faces. This boy, this man I now call son, looked at my daughter like my husband looks at me. The other faces around me blurred; their voices muted as I unashamedly stared. Praise rose in my heart; prayer winged out over the heads of the others for her—for them. Lord, let her understand this “seeing”. Let her see the cherishing in this gaze, and may she feel the lavishness of its assurance always.
This gazing passed between them as they stood before us. We felt its gentle heat. The pastor looked at my new son-in-law and stated, “You may kiss your bride.”
Before their lips touched, Nolan’s hands cupped Olivia’s face, and our crying turned to laughter fueled by their radiant faces. We who stood around them knew we had witnessed something extraordinary. I glanced at the knotted ropes behind them. Laying tangled—a witness of the tying of two people, two families. Its knotted lengths now a testimony to the power of God’s enduring grace.
There will come days when the rope will put taut.