The past year has presented some new opportunities for myself. I became a father on June 24 to my beautiful daughter Camille. August 19 found me in front of my home church being given the opportunity beyond anything I could have dreamed. The position of college and young adults pastor at Westside.
I start with a quick reflection on those two major events because today is my fathers birthday. What a great example he has been for me in both of the arenas I have just entered. Some quick stories:
Growing up I witnessed the impact my father had on others. He was always available. At times people would take advantage of him or treat him unfairly and when I would want to snap he would talk me off the ledge. He would remind me of his calling and why he did this. He pointed me and others towards Christ.
I was four years old and walked out of my preschool class with my art project in hand. It was a red heart cut out of construction paper. I gave “my heart” to my dad. The guy was my hero. Fast forward 19 years later. The day after my wedding I’m sitting with Charity and my parents over lunch. My dad looks at Charity and says “I have something I’d like to give to you.” He reaches in his wallet (“yes! He’s paying the bill!” my initial thought) and pulls out a worn out folded up piece of paper. He hands it to Charity and says “for 23 years I have been holding onto his heart and now I want to give it to you.”. It was the paper heart.
That’s my dad. He was there to teach me with words and action what a husband, father, and minister of the gospel should look like. I often get told I am a younger version of my father. I take that as a compliment. Happy birthday to the greatest dad the world has ever seen.
I am a fan of weddings. It may not come across as the most manly thing to say but it would be a lie to communicate it any other way. I am someone who enjoys being apart of “moments”. It is why every time I watch a baseball game my first thought is “I may be watching history today”. Being a witness of a moment that you can talk about for years is exciting. For me it reminds me of the sense of “awe” I am filled with in regards to God and my understanding of God. I feel small and as if I am in a moment bigger than I or those around me truly understand at the time. Weddings are very much the same.
The chapel doors open and the bride stands in the door way. Every eye goes to the bride. Mine go to the groom. His face tells it all. This woman that he has seen for countless hours before has never looked quite so radiant. Her smile never quite as charming. Her eyes never seemed so full of life. The mans face shows that. Its overwhelming. He can not hide it.
Seeing my sister (yes, she is technically my sister -in-law but she is most definitely my sister) walk down the aisle was beautiful. A woman who I have become extremely thankful for. Her friendship opened the door to meet my ultimate best friend (my wife, her sister). She was walking to a man who has made it known not just by his words but by his actions how much he cares for her. A man that is too nice at times and while he does not completely deserve her (like I said, I look at her like my sister), I could not have found a better man for her. He is a friend and a brother.
This weekend was a beautiful reminder for me of the beauty of “moments”. Experiencing them, embracing them, and reflecting on them. Seeing two beautiful people commit to lift each other up for the rest of their lives is beautiful. Congrats to Jason and Joy Lynch and thank you for letting me be apart.
They say “time flies when you’re having fun”. It’s a cliché statement. One that is overused and often times misused. Yet, its spot on. You see, October 16th will mark three years of marriage for Charity and me. The month of October will bring our relationship to a total of seven years. I look back and find myself saying “time flies when you’re having fun”.
It serves as little surprise to me that our relationship has been covered in comedic moments. We laugh at how our entire relationship began (I lied about having another date just to make her jealous and sure enough it worked. We laugh at this now.), walking down St. George street and listening to Charity pronounce the restaurant names (Rendezvous), or the infamous “fallen candle” as she walked down the aisle at our wedding. That candle moment is one the best memories I have of my wife. It is the day she has planned for over a year. A once in a lifetime moment as she is walking down the aisle with her father to be married to her extremely handsome and charming husband (that last part may be how I imagine her seeing the moment). I am not an emotional person. Tears do not fall from my eyes too often. Yet, when those doors opened and there stood my bride I felt the lip quiver and the eyes moisten. Most beautiful moment of my life. I am on the verge of a breakdown then it happens. She knocks over a candle. It is in this moment where my bride shone the brightest. She smiled, shrugged her shoulders, found my eyes, and moved on like nothing had occurred. That is her in her truest form. She smiles, finds my eyes, and assures me that all is well.
So as I sit in 2012 and look back, I am amazed at the journey we have walked. I consider myself beyond blessed. I shake my head, smile, and think time flies when you’re having fun. Happy 3rd anniversary my darling.