What do you see when you look at this picture? A young groom and a minister watch as the bride walked down the aisle. It was a lovely day in June. In spite of a pandemic the small group that gathered for this occasion was filled with joy.
A picture is worth a thousand words, isn’t it? I see prayers fulfilled. It turns out this precious groom, Gabriel Paxton Smith, is the young man I started praying for 24 years ago. I look back at the things I prayed for my daughter’s husband to be and Gabe is every bit of that and more! Given that their wedding occurred in the middle of a pandemic and racial crisis, I feel that their marriage will be used to bring healing and restoration in their generation.
I see hope. The bride and groom are filled with hope when they dream about their future. They vowed to have and to hold from this day forward, for better, for worse, for richer, for poorer, in sickness and in health, to love and to cherish, till death do us part.
But I see prayer fulfilled in our minister, the Reverend Eriq K Truitt-Reed as well. I’ve prayed for greater inclusion in the diversity of our spiritual leaders. Eriq is a spirit-filled leader and minister to me. I look to him as a model of one who has suffered racism and yet lives from honor. I grew up hearing “Now is the time to lift our nation from the quicksands of racial injustice to the solid rock of brotherhood” from MLK’s “I have a Dream” speech. My children grew up reading from “Martin’s Big Words” by Doreen Rappaport of how one day little black boys and black girls will join hands with little white boys and white girls as sisters and brothers. I’ve been praying not only for our nation, but also our community and family to cherish people around us, honoring our differences and welcoming deep friendships. Eriq reminds me that my life is better because of that solid rock of brotherhood.
My friends, this is just one little picture from one little backyard, but it speaks hope to me. It speaks honor, love, and righteousness. I’ve heard testimony recently that pictures and articles telling beautiful stories of reconciliation are being suppressed from social media. Good and hopeful stories are buried so that you can’t see them. Share this story. More importantly, keep building a culture around you of honor, love, and compassion. Pray for the future you want to see—in future sons-in-law as well as a brotherhood and sisterhood filling our lives with beautiful diversity. Pray for justice in our country; love in our homes.
“Righteousness and justice are the foundation of God’s throne; Lovingkindness and truth go before You.” Psalms 89:14
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