I think I went to heaven this weekend.
No, not a scary near-death experience, but I traveled with my family to a place that I cannot describe to truly make you feel the awesomeness of its beauty.
I was with people – many of whom I had just met and others I knew, but had the opportunity to get to know a little better. Everyone was kind, sweet, beautiful …. authentic.
There were very few electronics, aside for folks taking pictures and sharing them on social media. There were lengthy, meaningful conversations, not just quick one and two word answers. But real conversations among people, many whom were meeting for the first time. People sharing stories of their lives, feelings and experiences. People really talking and laughing and genuinely engaging with one another. People from all sorts of backgrounds, ages, education, careers and places.
We were at a family wedding in N. Carolina. We stayed on this beautiful farm surrounded, almost protected, by the Blue Ridge Mountains. I felt so removed from the rest of the world.
It felt like no wrong could be done here. It felt as if we were all safe on this preserved, mosaic patch of earth. We were all there because we were selected to be there, through the love of the kind and generous couple being married.
Nicki and Ben stood in front of us all, about 140 people from all over the country– as they have made dear friends in every place they have traveled in their lives. She was glowing in love and lace and the anticipation of her new life path with her handsome young groom. They stood near a babbling brook (yes it was babbling) and a dear friend married them and she spoke of love and kindness. So many people present and all you could hear were their words exchanging loving self-authored vows, the trickling river, birds and the breeze.
I felt the spirits of those loved ones who had passed on too soon, including the bride’s own parents, my father-in-law and the groom’s relatives. They were there. They were protecting us all, bringing a warmth and burst of sunshine to the day, all in the name of goodness and love. They wrapped their arms around the bride and groom.
It felt as if not one person among us was a stranger. We all came together for this sweet couple and we all became friends. Nicki and Ben made a promise to each other while committing us all, if only for this one beautiful weekend in heaven.
I think this weekend was a glimpse into what God intends for all of us, in every nook of this world, not only on a given weekend for a special occasion, but always.
I’m home now, back in the hectic suburban duties of work, kids, house cleaning, laundry, grocery shopping, and noise and cars, lots of cars…. But I still feel the love and goodness that created this weekend and that I was so lucky to have been able to witness and absorb. It reenergized me and my own relationships and reminded me that there is so much good in this world. And I have so much to be thankful for.
Thank you Nicki and Ben.
Have you ever felt you were in heaven, surrounded by natural beauty and the kindness of strangers who turned friends?
Please share, like, comment. See you next week!