On Lauren & Jay & Celebrating Love

Over a year ago, 2 of the world’s best people invited a bunch of other great people out to a gorgeous slice of cliff-top land along the southern coast of England, where sparks (literally) flew.

Lauren and JayA few weeks before that gorgeous day, Lauren, the bride, not only asked me to read at the wedding, but also to write the reading. She did this with a wonderfully laissez-faire approach that was quintessentially her. Something like: “What? How long? I don’t know. Whatever. I trust you. And no, I don’t want to read it first. Just write it and it will be great.”

(She’s a great encourager. One of the all-time best, in fact.)

The product of that request came immediately and has had some lasting effect, and requests that I share it have continued to come in. So I asked the blessing of the obvious parties and am placing it here for a few reasons:

  • To honor Lauren & Jay;
  • to easily pass it off to their beloved friends and family members who have requested it since that amazing day; and
  • perhaps, to tune us all in to something that should be top-of-mind this time of year (and always): love

So with great thanks and hugs to the now not-quite-so-new newlyweds, here (finally) are the words they inspired with their beautiful story. Read, share, carry it on if you like. Because love is worth celebrating.

* * *

Shakespeare described romantic love as “an ever-fixed mark that looks on tempests and is never shaken.”

Aristotle called it “a single soul inhabiting 2 bodies.”

The apostle Paul taught that agape love is patient and kind. He said it “bears all things, believes all things, hopes all things, endures all things.”

For this bright pair, for our beloved Lauren & Jay, love seems to be a sort of awakening to a more pure and illuminated world. It is a life-long truth finally realized. A story of intertwined souls that transcend time. A story of meant-to-be.

For those blessed enough to taste it, this happily-ever-after sort of love is as much a feeling as it is an act of coming home—home to a place where warm and tender spirits are not only welcome; they’re invited to light a fire, don a pair of slippers, pour a mug of cocoa, and tuck in for the duration of life in a space that is safe and glowing. A space that is all their own. A space where, as this bride and groom have shown to be possible, 2 people can be completely true to who they are and completely true to each other.

It is love’s place—kissed with magic, reflective of God, and blessed by Him.

And in it, we find an eternal reason for celebrating—not just for celebrating the 2 sparks joining here to set the world on fire. But for celebrating love itself—that is can, and will, and must prevail. That it is, after all, a gorgeous inevitability – a true and enlightening force that is living and powerful and ready to embrace us all if we will only, as Lauren and Jay have done, reach out and grasp it, fight for it, wait for it, lift it up, and believe in it. Believe that love is our very purpose, our reward and responsibility, our gift, and our means of reflecting grace.

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