Something about weddings and marriage remind me of the church where i grew up. Every now and again when i return to visit, the place looks smaller and the sermons sound familiar. The seniors also look older and i wonder if they shrunk overnight because now they are less- threatening and less like the no - nonsense people i used to know. Age passes the baton of exuberance between generations, relieving one and appointing the next.
There is just an unapologetic charm in quaint chapels like mine. It’s the same quaintness of wedding into married life. It has little to do with the good quality of the music, the fashion sense of the majority or the sohisticated order of the service, which may sometimes be lacking. The secret lies in that sense of belonging which exudes to newcomer and old timer alike. The appeal is in the state of harmony where oddity blends with antiquity to form a mosaic of many picturesque moments!
In my chapel, it’s the familiarity that changes what could be considered uncouth between strangers into fodder for hearty laughter among friends. It’s the unburied fights between the disapproving older generation and the defensive younger generation. They have never quite gotten over your unforgivable, adolescent disregard for their preferences in music and fashion! They will never understand why you like to wear your skirts a bit shorter or your make-up a little bolder, neither will they ever decipher your preference for trousers over skirts!
These sentiments are a few of the elements which add an intangible value to the tradditional church where i come from. When i am there, i am received like i never went away. I realise i am still plugged into the lingo, the in- house jokes and all of the favours bequeathed to me as a reward for being a part of it’s history. That history has also become a defining part of my cornucopia of life’s experiences. For this communual feeling which i cannot find within the walls of any mega- church, i go back to the good, old - fashioned chapel from time to time!
But that is not all. There is something old - fashioned too about weddings. Something old - fashioned about love. Old - fashioned as our ancestors who came before us and inexhaustible as eternity to come and eternity before us! (did you get the pun?). And it is not common that an old love is reincarnated so that two young people share in modern millennia, a love that is pure and wise and true and unselfish; one reminiscent of the old fashions of love. I attended a wedding that joined in matrimony a very old - fashioned love between two discerningly wise, young and
“new- fashion” people.
“What does old - fashioned love look like?” you ask me. I’ll tell you.
If you have loved before then you must know that love is spiritual. Something about the free- giving and free- receiving of hearts bears resemblance to a human being laying down or giving up his/her life for a friend. Divine. This is how you can discern it: If your love does not need to unburden the truth or shower with abundance the undeserving or run up a debt of forgiveness or sacrifice self to preserve it or worship God for the very gift of having it , then you are experiencing an inferior form of it. If your love isnt brazen enough to fulfill itself in the way your heart has taught it to you, but you have to look in the books of others first to adapt it, you haven’t found it!
Between those two leaf- loves (a type of songbird) getting married, there where a thousand words but their quiet submission to God and each other was the sum of them all. Selah!
The old fashions of love remain. Pure, simple and unclaimed for every heart sincere enough to reach it. Love never needed an adjective to qualify it. It never needed to be differentiated into true love, real love, erotic love, pure love or one love! It was just this plain, old - fashioned thing called: love. Although it manifests in and is made evident by many things, and although many things bear it witness, love itself is only one thing.
I promised you tales of frills and laces, pinks and beige, feathers and roses... fail you i dare not! It’s the wedding series people!