The Vow

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Dearly Tolerated, 
We are gathered here today to eat
and to ask one another "when might it be too early to leave?"
as we accept the unholy matrimony of two people
that we believe should have broken up by now
and who we are praying that God would make sterile
and not create the offspring of these disturbed individuals.

Now, if anyone would object to this union, 
it doesn’t really matter because the judge downtown will marry them anyway.
and when they grow weary of not getting the last glass of milk
of having to put the toilet seat up
or down
and of getting in the car for work
only to realize it needs gas
they will simply undo this fruitless partnership and start the crazy search all over again.

I wish in weddings we would just say what we mean. This is the marriage of the world,
give it away freely, let anyone have it,
because all it means is a tax break and a name change.

But marriage, true, life changing, life bonding, life giving, marriage, 
this is not a flippant change of living arrangements. 
It is a permanent, profound, promise, predicated on the possibility of peace and peril.
 
It is a holy, holistic, heavenly, harkening of God’s whole heart, haphazardly harassing the hardened heretic until he hollers UNCLE!

In marriage we fulfill the high priest’s prayer, "Father may they be one as you and I are one."

I wish we could change the name so the culture wouldn’t mistake what they do for what we do
or even worse that we wouldn’t trade what we should do for what they do.

It’s hard, no doubt!
We fight. We cry. We scream. We shout!
Who is right!? Who is wrong!?
Who knew that "till death" could feel so long!?

But it’s good, and it’s true,
waking up every morning beside you.
Unless of course I snore
and you graciously move to the couch believing I need the rest more.

Compromise and sacrifice?
Of course!
What is love but to lay down ones life?

And see that from this union a miracle is born.
The man, so helpless,
as his brides body is stretched and torn

And the three of us cry in unison
giving our breath back to the God who gave his son

The little one afraid and mom and dad overjoyed
How is it that love could create a baby boy?

This isn’t an on again off again thing

When problems arise, and yes I saw “when”,
We talk, we fight, we debate, we hurt one another, we loose sight of the bigger dream
That this marriage is about us, 
Not just you
Not just me

So there is no trap door, no escaping in the night,
no running away, no avoiding the fight.
We strap on our gloves and we go a few rounds
till our throats are raw and we stop making sounds

We fall into each other with honor and respect,
we hold each other up and we start to reflect
on all of the beauty and all of the joy
and all of the goodness and all of the love
and all of the fun, and laughing, and jokes,
and all of the times we were frightened and broke.

And it all starts to fade, we come out of our storm,
we remember that love, not strife, is our norm
We laugh at the fact that we forgot why we were fighting
and we choose to let go of the rights we're demanding
All of our fear and vulnerability comes out of hiding
and we scale the stubborn walls behind which we were hiding

This is love, to choose one another over and over again every day, every hour, every passing moment, because God has chosen us.
To live and believe that there is no “out”
because that is the essence of a vow.
To give our lives for one another
and to make life for one another.
Dearly beloved...
Love and be loved
dearly.