It happened years ago in Brazil, where we lived at the time, in a little church my dad was overseeing. The modest chapel stood on a hillside overlooking the red clay-tiled roofs of the houses below that spilled out across the valley. On this particular day, he was presiding over a wedding and so we were all invited to attend what turned out to be an amazing ceremony and a valuable life lesson. Looking back now, it was without a doubt the humblest wedding I ever attended, but at the same time one of the most captivating.
We took our seats on the left-hand side of the small auditorium and watched as it quickly filled to capacity with well-wishers. As the ceremony got underway, a young woman came to the podium to sing a special hymn. Unfortunately, she had barely started singing when her nerves got the best of her and she started to stumble over the lyrics. Without hesitation the groom sprang into action and stepping forward he picked up the song where her voice had trailed off, giving her the confidence to keep going. As they sang together, he turned to his bride and then the congregation and motioned for them to join in. Before it was over the packed chapel was filled with the voices of this impromptu choir so much so that the melody spilled out through the open church doors and over the valley.
If I picture that day in my mind and listen very carefully, I can almost see their faces and hear their sweet song these many years later. The bride looking on with amazement, tears dancing in the corners of her eyes. The groom wearing a plain white long-sleeve shirt standing in front of the alter leading the congregation in the song, his face beaming with the joy and anticipation of this special day when he marries the girl of his dreams. Nothing, not even the forgotten words of a song, can dampen his enthusiasm on this special day!
These days there are reality TV shows that apparently shadow couples prior to their wedding in order to document the many activities leading up to the big day. What I gather from the promotional clips is that things inevitably turn ugly as the couples lash out at everyone around them in their attempt to create the “perfect” wedding. Whenever I see an ad for one of these shows I reflect on the young man from Brazil, bursting with joy as he led the congregation in song. He was not worried about the condition of the flower arrangements, there were none. He was not concerned if the stringed quartet was going to show up on time, because he had not hired one. He did not even care that the young singer forgot the lyrics to her song. He was only filled with immense gratitude for the people who had come out on this very special day to share in his joy of marrying the love of his life.
As we strive for perfection in our daily lives, whether it be a party we are hosting for friends, an attempt to pull off the perfect date with that special someone who might be “the one”, or even our very own wedding day, are we consciously aware of what really matters? At the end of the day what really matters are the people we love, and the special moments they share with us.
So, the next time you are part of an event that experiences an unexpected hiccup, just picture the young groom in the white shirt and beaming face and be filled with gratitude and awe for the people around you that you love.
P.S. Share with us in the comments below an inspiring event that has shaped your life.