Monday, July 24, 2006

I Look Down and Feel as if I'm Dreaming 

I've said before to many people over the years that there are defining moments in our life, which, when they occur, we almost immediately know two things: we will never be the same again, and we will never forget the moment.

Such a moment happened to me this past weekend, around 10:20am, Saturday morning. I had just finished ascending a pulpit, which I've done a few times now, and was preparing to preach, which I've also done a few times now. But, I was in my home church, serving for the first time there in a clerical capacity. The occasion for my sermon was the celebration of a marriage of two friends of mine. The bride I've known since I was a tot; we grew up in that church together and have been friends for a long time. We even found our way to the same college, and then to Chicago, chuckling about it all the way. The groom I got to know well in college when he started dating the bride, and even better once he showed up in Chicago too. The maid-of-honor was a long time, dear friend of both the bride and I. The church was filled with familiar faces.

And the moment occurred as I got to the top step and looked down to find I felt as if I were dreaming. All of a sudden, my Deacon's stole, my alb, my collar - it all felt a bit like a costume. There was my friend, playing the role of bride. There was my other friend, playing the role of maid-of-honor. It was all make believe, or so it felt for a brief moment. I did not know it then but our parents, and many old time congregants, felt tears well up in their eyes as we went about playing at being grown up. And doing something very holy. It was a moment I'll never forget, and know I have been changed by it. A part of my new identity got more attached as the first words of my first wedding sermon proceeded forth from my lips. It became...more solid, I guess I'd say. As the bond between man and wife was sanctified, I felt a holy presence whisper in my ear as well, encouraging me, helping me to accept the strangely hard fact, "You're not playing dress up, and you're doing fine." I almost turned around to see who had patted me on the shoulder. But my attention was too focused on the bride and groom, and a smile broke out of my solemn Deacon's expression.

God bless you two.



The playing pretend feeling doesn't necessarily go away. I've been married for almost 3.5 years and have 2 kids. There are days that I still feel like I'm playing house and am amazed that someone has given me a drivers license.


By Blogger Lacy, at 6:26 AM  

beautiful post, thanks

By Blogger Susie, at 11:24 AM  

Is that *MY* Katie? Katie H? Oh my goodness...congrats to them both and to you on a successful deaconing!

By Anonymous Sarah, at 12:50 PM  

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