Weddings wear me down and my smile begins to hurt, all the eating, hosting, hugging, social adrenaline, and dancing turns my legs to jelly.
After Brandon and Liz drove away, I decompressed by checking the OU/Ohio State game which only compressed me more, as I listened to the announcers describe the Oklahoma football team’s shortcomings while waiting on the projection screen to illuminate. It never lit up…and I grew frustrated punching the remote buttons harder as if that would help like punching the elevator button when it’s already lit. This went on for five minutes and finally I stood up, turned around and pointed the remote at the rear projector and discovered that it was gone…which made me think of the times in the previous 23 years that my things were not returned…shoes, lawn mowers, ice cream…I’m going to miss that.
With a heavy sigh, I walked to our bedroom and spied two gifts on our bed. One gift for Karen and the other for Brent, and I opened my gift and found notes, one from Brandon and one from Liz.
I read the notes and turned out the lights.
Here is a paradox.
I spend my life filling it up with stuff I think will make me happy, and someone dumps it all out and fills it back up with something better that I can’t even describe.
“Your son is handsome, Liz is lovely and radiant, they are a lovely couple, what a lovely wedding, what a gorgeous setting…and two beautiful notes from my son and new daughter.”
What did I have to do with any of that? And yet, I get the credit?
Which reminds me of another wedding from John Chapter 2 “Everybody begins with their finest wines and after the guests have had their fill brings in the cheap stuff. But you’ve saved the best till now!” The groom and his family got credit for being magnanimous, when in fact, they were incompetent, providing enough wine for only 2 days instead of 3 days.
I remember the day Brandon was born, not knowing if he was a daughter or a son…surprised, happy, I walked out into the waiting area and told Jenna and Lauren I had a son, and they had a brother.
Ironically, after 23 years, I understand more fully the meaning of that moment. I thought about the words I read in the notes. And I was no longer empty, I was full, I was weary but joyful, a father who hadn’t provided enough wine for his son, yet given credit for providing the best wine, and gaining a daughter in the process.
That is grace, that is the wonder of being given what you don’t deserve, that is a son become a man, the water turned to wine.