Monday, October 15, 2012

Flight to the Wedding Feast

Costa Rica, October 13, 2012 Photo by Larissa Smith 

I've been to at least 100 weddings in my 28 years. When I was a three-year-old flower girl, I was very excited about my basket of flowers, but I was not happy about all the people looking at me, and a bridesmaid had to carry me down the aisle. As an older child, I was most excited about eating cake and throwing rice.

As a teenager, all the weddings I attended were for college students I loved and admired. I celebrated these weddings with awe. I knew that in those solemn hours I was witnessing the culmination of countless cautious flirtations, late-night conversations, hard questions, daring adventures, and growing trust. I was curious but shy about the joy of these events. Once, when I refused to come up for the bouquet toss, pleading shyness, the bride commanded the groom to literally carry me from my chair to the dance floor. Their joy in that day was so great that they would suffer no excuses from bashful guests.

More recently, I have reveled in the weddings of many dear friends. Each and every one has had beautiful moments: praying with Mark before he took his place at the altar to await his bride; listening to Lindsay sing for her new husband's mother-son dance; watching Martin and Mary shine like a king and queen during their wedding mass.

The Bible says that one of the purposes of marriage is to give us a glimpse of the relationship between Christ and the Church (Ephesians 5.31-32), and Jesus uses images of wedding feasts again and again in his parables about the Kingdom of God.

Last week I flew to Costa Rica for the wedding of some of my dearest friends, and ever since, I've been thinking about what my five-score weddings have taught me about the way the world should be. I spent most of yesterday's Sabbath flying back to the US, and as I travelled, I used these pictures to pray for the world's redemption.

Costa Rica, October 12, 2012 

The Costa Rica wedding is still too recent for me to write about it in full -- it is too dear, too precious to become public just yet. But I will say that it has given me even better pictures of the way this world can and will be changed by love:

...And then the bride and her bridegroom will make a home for those they love in a strange and beautiful land. They will give them rooms that perch on the hillsides, with windows that look to the ocean. Together--bride and groom and guests--they will venture into the mountains, will feel the heat of volcanoes, will fly from tree to tree. They will feast for days, and when the wedding night comes, even those who are shy and sore and heavy-hearted will dance. They will send lanterns into the night sky like fledgling stars. Save your coins for this, save your days and lift up your heart. Make your best dress ready and find shoes for climbing. Don't miss your flight to the wedding feast. 

Costa Rica, October 13, 2012 Photo by Larissa Smith


  1. I believe that is the first, and possibly last, time I'll hear or read the words "best dress" and "shoes for climbing" in the same sentence! Very nicely done!

  2. Someday perhaps u will be able to be present at Luis' and I's (Ashley) wedding celebration (we never had one) and it too will make u smile so deep within! Thank you for being so descriptive in ur blog :)