Yesterday I checked into my hotel in Sedona, got my bearings, jumped into the pool, and then made my way to the hillside for a wedding rehearsal. It is one of the most spectacular settings for a marriage ceremony I’ve ever witnessed.
As I greeted friends from back home and met new friends I wondered, “How did I end up here?” That question took me down a path of memories.
Erin’s (the bride) parents attended my church in Flushing. She was away at school when they started to get involved. One weekend Erin was home and came to church with her folks. I don’t remember what I was talking about, which isn’t unusual but I showed some photos of a backpacking trip to the Paria Canyon. After the service, the normally reserved young lady approached and began to share with me her love for the southwest. There was an instant connection.
Not long after we met, Erin received an internship very close to our favorite hiking spot. She was a biologist on Lake Powell in Page, AZ. That began a bi-locational lifestyle as she shuttled back and forth between Central Michigan and north central Arizona. Wisely the park service offered her a full time job upon completion of her master’s degree. Enter Craig, another midwestern transplant. It was evident there was more than a spark of friendship. They shared a number of the same passions, hobbies and loves. I won’t pretend to be able to do justice to the rest of their story. You’d have to hear it from them.
Last night at the rehearsal dinner, Erin and Craig were surrounded by family members and friends from the park service. One couple even came from Hawaii to celebrate their union. Delicious food, hilarious stories, and roaring laughter filled the private dining room at Dahl and Di Luca.
It was a night that I left thinking how good it is to be human.
Too often we Christians equate being human with being bad. They are not one in the same. Being human is wonderful. We are united in our; desire to love and be loved, value of loyalty over betrayal, hope of forgiveness rather than receiving revenge. We forget that Jesus not only embraced humanity he embraced being human. He was fully human. Maybe that’s why he loved weddings, dinner with people, and parties. Maybe that’s why we do too.
“How did I end up here?” because of a tangled web of friendships and overlapping circles of interest. And it is a huge privilege to be invited to participate in a defining moment of Erin & Craig’s relationship. It’s a great day to be here. It’s a great day to be human.