On Saturday night I was again an unseen witness to a marriage. Surprisingly, I’ve witnessed a number of weddings to which I haven’t been invited. No, I’m not a professional wedding crasher. It’s just that the beach at Hilton Head SC where we have a vacation home is a favorite spot for beachside weddings. There’s nothing more delightful than taking an evening stroll on the beach and happening upon a wedding. The great majority of beach weddings I’ve witnessed are intimate well orchestrated affairs that don’t skimp on any of the traditional details. Bridesmaids with high heels sinking in the sand walking down an impromptu aisle between white folding chairs, a minister in a robe standing with his back against the Atlantic Ocean, a groom in a black tuxedo with a white rose boutaineer, a bride in a long white flowing gowns trailing along in the sand trying to keep the veil on her head in the wind, and the freshness and unpredictability all around of surf and sun and clouds and God’s holy cathedral of the great dome of sky over the shore.
On Saturday night I was at a different beach – Tybee Island, GA. Gordon and I were checking into an old fashioned beach front, family-style motel at the same time as a young couple. The young woman told the lady behind the desk that they were getting married that evening at the light house. From the looks if it, it wasn’t one of those weddings that’s been planned in detail for years because they didn’t even have motel reservations and were inquiring about an ocean view room. And apparently there were no family, friends or well wishers with them, just the two of them, telling their good news to a motel clerk and strangers like me who happened to overhear.
It wasn’t a good evening for beach weddings or light house weddings for that matter. Around 6:00 thundershowers moved through. The surf was high and wild, kicked up by Hurricane Bill far offshore. From the little balcony on our room I could see a narrow slice of the beach down an alleyway between two houses. I wiped the blown rain off the chair on the balcony and sat down to watch the waves. The rain seemed to have tapered off but I wasn’t sure if it had stopped since the metal shutters on the house in front of me were still pinging with drips. There wasn’t a soul in sight on the gray patch of beach.
Then, as if on cue, a young couple stepped in front of the small dune directly in my tunnel vision. The young woman was wearing a short white sleeveless dress, the kind you might wear to church. Nothing fancy. She was holding a small nosegay of white flowers, not more than three blossoms. The young man was wearing light colored khaki pants and a sports jacket, not a hint of a boutaineer. A photographer dressed in black was the only other soul in view.
I’m not sure if the couple was on their way to their lighthouse wedding or on their way back, but I knew that I was an unseen witness to their wedding day portrait. Suddenly I wondered if anyone had even said a prayer for them on their wedding day and it seemed that God might have invited me out on the dripping balcony to be His eyes upon them to bless them with an unseen prayer. And so, as befitting an unseen, silent witness, I said a silent prayer. I prayed that whatever was past with the young couple was now unimportant and that God would give them a good and wholesome future together. The photographer snapped a photo. And I smiled from afar and on high, just like God who is always the unseen witness at every wedding and during the lifetime of every marriage.
P.S.: Today is our 36th Wedding Anniversary
Contact Karen Barber at www.personalprayerpower.com