This past weekend my siblings, our families, and nearly 100 others celebrated the 50th anniversary of my parent’s wedding. Stunning. Mind-boggling.
Given that I’ll never celebrate that milestone, and knowing even some of what I do about the complexion and landscape of their years together, I find it even more amazing. All the hearty congratulations, the expressions of pride and honor, and the tears of joy and love that were shed do not even begin to signify the reality of what those 50 years have held. How does one even begin to capture or understand all of what this means? It’s impossible, really.
And it would have been completely impossible for my parents to ever imagine, 50 years ago, what their celebration would look like and feel like. How could they have known of the story that would be told in their lives – separate and intertwined? How could they have known of both the heartache and joy that awaited them in the birth and then life of the three of their children – and then four grandchildren? How could they have anticipated the ways in which they would disappoint, wound, celebrate, surprise, and care for one another?
It’s impossible. And that’s what I love about it. In a world that often leaves us skeptical and doubting; wanting assurances, answers, and safe bets, their marriage embodies blind faith…not always their own, but always God’s on their behalf. Sometimes because of their efforts and perhaps more times than not, in spite of them, their relationship has endured, stretched, and grown. Amazing. Stunning.
And maybe not so impossible. Maybe celebrating 50 years together reminds us that we’re really not in control and still, beauty, life, and love exist, survive, and even thrive. Maybe just being in relationship period – any relationship is completely impossible but sometimes, many times, it’s something that happens, lives, breaths, and continues anyway…a good news of sorts that calls us again and again to something larger than ourselves, Someone larger than ourselves.
For me, my parents 50th was and is the gospel lived out. To celebrate their years together renewed my belief in and commitment to God’s crazy love for us; a love that is amazing, stunning, and impossible – and frankly, is the only thing that enables our own.
Happy 50th, Mom and Dad. I’m so proud of you and love you very much.