I got a phone call yesterday – a rush of California wind in the background, a rush of shouting and laughter and I caught a few tears, too.
They told me in hurried voices that they were engaged, that on Saturday something marvelous and beautiful had just come true and they couldn’t hardly believe it, but it was real, and they loved each other and couldn’t wait to celebrate and could I mark off space in the calendar for a big celebration soon?
And in a rush of California wind blown through my grey New England heart, I heard real joy.
It sounds like two people who have set out on a long road holding hands against the challenge and leaning into the blessing.
It sounds like her red dress in the vineyard, his hand fingering the ring in his pocket. It sounds like their smiles, saved only for each other, saved only for this day.
It sounds like the way that I know they’ll carry each other, through long mornings and church services and drives with coffee in travel mugs, in being apart only to be drawn closer together, in the best kind of yearning and yielding, independence and oneness. It sounds like the way that she and I drove along the highway back once from dinner with a friend, and the headlights trickled past us as we went north, and I told her that they have it. Whatever it was, and is, and will become.
So these people whom I love are engaged, and in their hurried phone call on Sunday, they offered an invitation: to be part of their joy. To burst with it just as they are bursting with it. To make my own heart glad for the Saturday afternoon in the vineyard and the word “yes” and the question that preceded it.
And even though I don’t always know how, I want to burst with joy for them. Even though their story meets mine in a different in-between, in the midst of my own questions and worries and late-night lying in bed awake so confused that I just put a song on my iPhone and play it through the tiny speakers to the ceiling?
Even though I don’t know a thousand things about love?
I still want to burst with their joy. The Kingdom is built on our hearts being grateful for all the blessing we hear rushing past us, no matter when or how or to whom. The Kingdom is built on bursting with joy because two people are going to become one.
Jesus said, Remain in my love
Jesus said, Love one another as I have loved you.
As branches of the same Vine, we remain in His love. And with His love, we burst with joy.
Because two will soon become one, because love is brave and persists and says yes, because blessings come on Saturday afternoons in vineyards, because there is nothing for it but to smile and screech with joy that this good thing has come to be.