Tears welled in our eyes as we remembered the valley through which our daughter traveled to reach this mountaintop moment. She descended the winding staircase, her eyes locked onto those of the man who awaited her below. Taking her time to cross the distance to her future, she radiated peace and joy in her commitment. Gabe ascended five steps to the atrium landing where he claimed his bride.
With vows complete, Gabe’s mom called us together for a toast. But in a surprise
move, she yielded the floor to her grandson, the groom’s 15 year-old son.
Squaring the shoulders of his lanky, runner’s frame, he drew in a ragged breath.
“I’d like to make a toast.” The young man retrieved his cell phone from deep within his pants pocket. “I typed it out because I wasn’t sure I could remember it all.
“Dad, I want to tell you how happy I am for you and Jessica. And I know you’ll be
happy together.” He looked up from his typed text. The son’s eyes met those of his father-groom. He no longer needed a script to prompt words etched on his heart.
“As you said your vows, I was thinking about how you treat me and everyone. Always so gentle and kind. And I watched how you hold Jessica’s hand…always
protective and loving. It’s the same way I try to treat my girlfriend.
“You’re a good father. You’re always there for us. And you seem more like a big brother than just a father. I appreciate how you offer me guidance when I need it. When I get out of line, you get me back on track and show me what’s right. You teach me by example. The patience and leadership you show me is what I try to show with E [younger
“Dad, you’re my role model.” The son raised his glass to end the toast. “I wish you and Jessica many happy years together.”
I walked away with two gifts today. The son reminded me of the Good News about our Father’s love for His children. And I glimpsed a preview of what Christ’s Return might
be like. The Father brought them together. A Child taught them. The Son claimed
Never again will you be called ‘The Forsaken City” or “The Desolate
Land.” Your new name will be “the city of God’s Delight” and “the Bride of God,” for the Lord delights in you and will claim you as his bride.
Your children will commit themselves to you, O Jerusalem, just as a young man
commits himself to his bride. Then God will rejoice over you as a bridegroom rejoices over his bride. (Isaiah 62:4-5, NLT)