All you need is His Love


What a whirlwind the last couple weeks have been! Although Sid and I have been wintering in Florida, my daily routines stay the same. I still balance my work schedule with my volunteer responsibilities, while sprinkling in some additional group meetings and recreational opportunities not otherwise available up north. So life is rich, though very busy.


To add to that, I’ve been blessed to be deeply involved with the wedding and celebrations around it for my nephew. Since Sid and I live at my sister’s house in Massachusetts about as much as at our home in Maine for most of the year, my nephew’s marriage to his adorable wife has been a greatly anticipated event close to my heart. So I have enthusiastically participated in as much as possible, even the travel back and forth seeming a blessing to be able to be so involved.


The actual wedding was this past weekend and what an event it was!!! I know all weddings are special. Not just because this was that of a close family member, this one also had some unique aspects that made it feel magical.


My nephew’s wife is from China. I’ve gotten to know well and love his bride over these past five years. More recently I also got to know her parents through the various opportunities we’ve had to be together these last couple weeks before the wedding. Conversations from the heart were so easy at the ladies only events. Deep even political discussions with both parents were vibrant, amazingly interesting as different perspectives were better understood.


Without divisive vocabulary (Communism, democracy) the underlying philosophies were discussed, illuminated, each of us learning from the other, respecting the other, being able to embrace the similarities and common ground, pondering the differences, analyzing economies and effects of leadership styles. Our personal experiences were so similar and yet richly different. The wide scope of each of our areas of knowledge and experience intersected, exchanged, grew, all within a framework of love and respect for each other. At the end of each of our times together the beauty of our similarities despite such differences was overwhelming.


Some of you know that one of the reasons I am in Florida part of the year is to be with my cousin who lives here and barely survived due to complications from a stem cell transplant to treat her multiple myeloma several years ago. Her son also lives here and had lived in China for 15 years after graduating from college.


At the Sunday brunch after the wedding I had the opportunity to talk more deeply with a guest who knew the bride in China before she came to the U.S. as a foreign exchange student in high school. “Coincidentally”, the guest who knew the bride in China turned out to be a close friend of my cousin’s son since they both lived in China during part of those same 15 years!! How is that even possible in a country of so many people??!!!


As the stories unfolded, the detail of the Jewish/Chinese family the bride came to live with in high school, her knowledge of Jewish customs as a result, the fact that my cousin’s son established the Moishe House in Beijing that that wedding guest happened to visit during the very years that son was in China, that I now see that cousin’s son often in Florida, and that I would meet at my nephew’s wedding the person who knew both the bride and my cousin’s son over a decade ago in China are not coincidences!


How all of our seemingly unrelated paths have been leading to a time such as this, a time of new relationships, new beginnings, new seasons of life. The intricacies of this beautifully woven tapestry of finite connections to His infinite being leave me in awe as I wonder what lies ahead . . .


The behind the scene orchestration, the masterful connecting of love relationships, in this case globally(!), was so apparent in the lives of these young people. The fact that I’m now in Florida with my cousin’s son somehow connected to my nephew’s bride from China now in our family really is miraculous. What’s even more awe inspiring is that these unseen “coincidences” are probably not unique, but rather, are everywhere and in everyone’s lives. We just don’t always notice them. Occasionally we are given the ability to see them, and when that happens, how deeply, how powerfully we are reminded of God’s Presence, His divine plan for each of us.


As we all know who have attended such events, it sometimes takes a bit of time for guests, especially from so many walks of life and cultures, to feel comfortable to come to the dance floor. Not at this wedding!! I actually think the love in the room was showered into full bloom by so many tears during poignant, from the heart vows and toasts like none I’ve ever heard, especially the vows of the bride. A deeper beauty filled the room. As the bride especially was so transparent in her vows, it felt as if everyone’s natural guardedness loosened, as we all felt so connected in our hearts. It felt like one heart, one love, for real.


After the bridal party danced, as the first group song came on, and until the party ended, the floor was rejoicing with as many attendees as were able to express their joy in dance. So much love.


How that wedding reassured me, gave me hope of the ability for us to love despite our differences, to appreciate each other’s rich cultures, to embrace diversity, to learn from challenges as heartfeltly shared in the public remarks. The more the bride and groom’s love was shared, the greater the love in the room. The model of their transparent hearts opened the hearts of their guests as well resulting in a joy we had to share by dancing. We literally felt we had to dance, laugh, embrace, be part of this love, His Love.


This is what two people, my nephew and his bride, started five years ago when they first met, one on one. As shared through their vows, it was a meeting that was not an obviously easy road from the beginning, but a road apparently intended to show what can be the fruit of true love. At the end of the ceremony, as they bowed to both sets of parents in the bride’s tradition, then broke the glass in my nephew’s, customs globally apart, this blessed couple modeled for us the power of love.


As their love one on one filled the room with joy, we were reminded of the boundaryless power of His Love of the world, of each and every one of his created beings. Our role is to bring that love into this world every chance we can do so. The wedding was a showcase of love’s indescribable power, and evidence of hope for the future.


No need to wait for a wedding to make these dreams a reality. Let’s love.


Shabbat shalom.




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