At a wedding we usually talk about the wedding bands being a perfect circle, with no beginning and no end. But we all know that these rings do have a beginning.
Rock is dug up from the earth.
Metal is liquefied in a furnace, then molded, and painstakingly polished.
Something beautiful is made out of hammering and heat.
Love is like that. It’s hot, dirty work.
It comes from humble beginnings, made by imperfect beings.
It’s the process of making something beautiful where there was once nothing at all.
We have made something beautiful out of painful and difficult experiences…and we celebrated that with the exchange of rings that will continue to remind us of the promises we have made on our wedding day.*
*Adapted slightly from our wedding ceremony.
Wedding rings are beautiful. They are round, without beginning or end. They are hardy and solid and yet precious…but they themselves are borne of struggle. The making of the ring occurred with considerable shaping, molding, and heat. They end up beautiful…but the process is anything but.
To find love in mid-life is a lot like that.
His marriage died when she did. Cancer is an ugly disease…and it does its best to wreak havoc on the entire family. Cancer threatens to hijack a family with fear and pain–physical and emotional.
It was in the hearing of his painful story that I came to know of his strength, and his gentleness, and his perseverance in struggle. It was in the hearing of his challenges and difficulties and his joys in the midst of all of that that I fell in love.
My marriage died a tumultuous tragic end–it’s painful to watch a train wreck and be powerless to stop it, and then being left with the aftermath.
It was in the hearing of the ugliness of my story that he heard beauty of family love, of community support, and of wisdom gained in the school of a stressful life. He says it was in the hearing of my challenges and difficulties and my joys in the midst of that he fell in love.
Wearing this ring is sweeter for the struggles. Beauty arising from ashes.