July 12 2010
A couple of Dear Friends were Married at St. Martin's Yesterday!
All weddings are special!
Each person brings something unique and there are new ideas to explore and young people to encourage. (We have married a few 80 year old folks over the years too! They are amazing and young at heart!
During marriage preparation,some couples draw closer to the church than others.
There are many reasons for that. Not everyone lives close by. We do a lot of weddings during the summer for people who are home on vacation. These people generally do a marriage preparation course offered by an other Church in another community . For those who live close,every gift of fellowship and friendship is offered.
I always look forward forward to weddings at St. Martin's.
Although right now, it looks now as though I not not be conducting wedding ceremonies for a while, I am still looking forward to the celebrations of love that will take place in our Church as couples come forward to seek the blessing of Friends, Family,and our Lord.
The couples being married next weekend have become people I know, who have prayed with,and will pray for.
When I was diagnosed with cancer it didn't take long for my world to turn upside down. So many things to think about,so many people to tell, so many questions to ask -- and not a day goes by that a question or challenges doesn't pop up.
I will speak about some of these later this week, but for tonight I want to write about another sighting of Grace I experienced while I was walking in the Valley of The Shadow.
Tina Hynes and Dean Pelley came to St. Martin's a few years back as a young couple who were seeking some information about our Church and our programs. To keep the story simple, They Got involved! My relationship with Tina and Dean began first with my role of the parish priest. This relationship began to grow as all friendships do when they are nurtured and lovingly challenged. Before too long both Karen and I were blessed to name Dean , Tina,and their children among our friends.
As I said,this past weekend some dear friends were married at St. Martin's. It took them a while to set the date (July,10) but when they did it seemed to arrive overnight!
My personal freight train was arviving as well. As time went on after June 8Th (the day I was given the official results ) I tried my best to organize my schedule , make as many realistic commitments as possible, and get ready for the storm.
One of my anchors was this wedding. I set my heart to it, scheduled around it and was determined to make it. We we busy preparing for the wedding in other ways as well. Karen,a beautiful bridesmaid to be, along with Kaylee and Ada helping with detail after detail until all was ready. Dean, in his fine new Suit,Son Jonathan by his side , and Jason getting ready to run down the Church to walk up the Aisle with "Momma". Add Garry Fudge's smiling face as best man, and away we go!
What a beautiful day,and Thank God for every moment of it.
I couldn't do it. No matter how hard I tried by the time the rehearsal was over, there was nothing left. Too much going on with the Chemotherapy,and too much to expect from this old body.
Dr. St. Croix came to visit me,and with her usual gentle wisdom helped me see that I was not going to meet this expectation. She also lovingly reminded me that those who loved me would be far more worried about my present health than anything.
Of course she was right. What a blessed team of caregivers we have in our Hospital in Gander, Dear God continue to bless their lives and hands!
What was left to do?
The staff left me for a moment. I phoned Karen and explained the story as best I could. (They were all in the middle of getting their hair done,and I was falling apart.)
Karen called Dean,and Said "Your buddy needs you, He's devastated"
Dean's only response was "I just want Him to be okay. I'll be right there."
When my friend walked in the door, I knew right away that he was reflecting what the entire wedding party in the very same words,(the entire Church for that matter was saying) when he grabbed me in his arms and smiled through the tears ``I love you John.... I love you Buddy ......Over and over...)) In that moment, I was able lo let go the Tears and the frustration and the sense of helplessness. Thanks Man. Thank you too Revd. Brian,for being the next in line with your open arms.
From that moment on I insisted to everyone I spoke to that it was time to celebrate!Lets celebrate what God IS doing!
What a great Day! Perfect Weather,loving friends and family Great Food,laughter blessing and and Gods ever present Blessing!
My joy was made complete when later that afternoon the Wedding party made their way back to my hospital room for some snaps. Tina,You were beautiful as a bride,on your wedding day you are beautiful as a person,and you and your family are the Beloved of God. Thank you for making us part of your special Day!