Wednesday, April 3, 2013

Blessing for Naomi and Dustin

Naomi and Dustin, thank you for the invitation to share this day with you.

I’m a long way from home, way west, and way north, and some of you might wonder, how is it that a southern Saskatchewan farm girl finds herself in Quesnel’s northern beauty, well, I’m part of a story. When Naomi asked me if I could bring a blessing today, I thought of another story. You’ve heard of David and Goliath, well being here today reminds me of David and Jonathan.

David was a shepherd boy. Jonathan was the son of a king. Just after David killed Goliath in that famous story, we hear of the bond between the shepherd boy and the king’s son.  “The soul of Jonathan was knit to the soul of David” 1 Samuel 18:1 (I know how much you folks love your knitting, or is it crocheting?)
David and Jonathan entered into a friendship, a covenant, a treaty.
Just like any good story there is conflict: King Saul tries to kill David repeatedly, Jonathan saves David's life; David becomes a great warrior; David lives life on the run, but Jonathan is loyal, 1Samuel 20:42 And because our Creator is a master story writer, there are twists and turns until Jonathan and King Saul are dead, and with more war and years of struggle, the shepherd boy becomes king. But the most beautiful part of the story of Jonathan and David is still to come. It’s the way David, once he is king, honours the covenant he made with his friend Jonathan, and even  after Jonathan’s death, David takes care of Jonathan’s son, Mephibosephth, who expects to be treated like a dog, but instead, he is treated like a son, the son of a king. 2Samuel Chapter 9
Like David and Jonathan, you, Naomi and Dustin, your souls have been knit together, you love each other as you love your own soul, your own life. Through difficult and joyous circumstances, you have built a life together, a family together, based on friendship, love, grace, healing, and destiny. Like David and Jonathan, the Creator is writing your story, Nomi and Dusty, a story full of twists and poetry, a beautiful story.
Those of us gathered here today, we are happy to be part of your story, it’s not a picture book story or a fairy tale, it’s a full-out-drama, the kind of story they make movies about, the kind of story that wins awards. And it’s not over, either. Today is just one part of the story, a very important part, but just another chapter.
So what is this wedding chapter called? How about, “A Day of Healing”? Way back in the beginning, back in the garden, we were whole, man and woman, we were right with our Creator, no shame, no pain. But as brokenness came into the world, and we had to leave the garden, life became a struggle. We longed for the garden.

Fast forward to two thousand years ago, the Great Gardener sent his son, a Carpenter, a Bridge Builder, a Great Physician, who came back for the sick, to bring healing. You see, we are all made in the image of the Gardener, the Carpenter, the Physician, and we have been called into one another’s gardens, buildings, hospitals, to bring growth, stability, and healing. And really, this is why I am here today, to bring healing and receive healing, for this has been my friendship with your Uncle Rob, like David and Jonathan, and this has been my experience with you, Naomi and Dustin, even in the short time we have called each other friend. You have spoken words of peace and comfort that can only come from those whose hearts are filled with wisdom. As Matthew says, “Out of the abundance of the heart the mouth speaks.” Matthew 12:34
So today, this ceremony is a get-up-and-walk-you’re-healed-ceremony, across the carpenter’s bridge, back into the garden where man and woman first walked as husband and wife. You know, the word husband means gardener and wife is the gardener’s help-meet, so you two can grow deeper roots as you continue watering, sunning, nourishing each other, and the beauty of the garden is that it can’t help but spill over its borders and bring healing and hope to those around. This has been my experience watching you, and hearing about you from your very proud Uncle Rob.
Ever since you asked me to play a role in your wedding, I have been thinking a lot about ceremony. Every culture has ceremonies. We have graduation ceremonies and awards ceremonies. Where I live in Fort Qu’Appelle, I hear First Nations people talking about ceremony as part of living in a good way. But what is a ceremony? I offer that a ceremony is a time of gathering, of family, of community. A time to mark a transition and all who leave a ceremony are invited to walk in a new way. Today, we bring this man, Dustin, And this woman, Naomi. Two halves of one whole. Two elements like earth and sky. Two beautiful buds, two buddies, ready to bloom under the purifying sunshine, and the cleansing rain, digging deep into the rich soil, making our world a more beautiful place.
As we celebrate this wedding ceremony, I invite all here to pledge a witness vow, Dustin and Naomi, we, your friends and family do promise to love, honour, and cherish your marriage. We will laugh when you laugh and cry when you cry. We will walk beside you as loyal friends and family. We will believe in you. We will respect the destiny God has for you. When you confess your mistakes, we will remind you of grace. When you are broken, we will speak words of healing.
So today, I offer an announcement, that there has been a wedding ceremony, a healing chapter written by the great author, through which we celebrate the knitting together of these two souls, Dustin and Naomi. And today, I declare that this family is free of any power-imbalance that may haunt you. Like David and Jonathan, the power has shifted, the weak have become strong – like David the shepherd-boy-made-king, you are powerful as you bring kindness to the-Mephibosephth-among-you who feel unworthy; today I claim grace for this family in the name of the Morning Star, the Humble Carpenter, the One Son of the Creator.  Amen. So be it.
Photo: amazing day!
Naomi and Dustin
Proud Uncle Rob listening to his sister and mother-of-the-bride, Wendy's speech

My gift from Wendy.

See the hat my girl Victoria is wearing in her engagement photos?
Naomi knit it.
Naomi knows knitting.
Long may our families be knit together.

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