February 5, 2019
chuck + jane were married at redemption church in the prayer space.
seems like an ordinary line you might read in the weddings + birth section of a newspaper. (yes kids, actual newspapers still exist. they smell of warm newsprint and the rustling-crinkle sound still makes me happy to smell + hear.)
but stepping back from that simple ordinary first line of this post, I have to tell you about the extra-ordinary into witnessing this day.
first, the prayer space.
it was intentionally designed and made by jack + his team at debartolo architects. when he spoke about his intentionality in designing this space a few months ago at a life collective, I remember being in awe in listening to his line of thought. he spoke of desiring to move someone closer to God through means of space. he spoke of prayer and defining a bit of what his thoughts on prayer were:
“prayer is both conversation + encounter with God…we must know the awe of praising His glory, the intimacy of finding His grace, and the struggle of asking for His help, all of which can lead us to know the spiritual reality of His presence.” tim keller
he spoke of intention in material and giving nod to the many references to using the material of wood in scripture and his decision to create the entire space out of douglas fir.
“douglas fir is created with thousands of imperfections – but made into something extra-ordinary when unified. much like the body of Christ when we are united our imperfections become minimized + our union becomes the beauty.“
he spoke of desiring to create a space of prayer or to create a space to encourage the reordering of our loves.
stepping into the prayer space to photograph chuck + jane, those thoughts about where we standing and the intention that the space had been designed for almost had me wondering if we should have even been there for this ceremony.
but when I remembered tim keller’s definition of what prayer was I had to smile as everyone bowed their heads to honor God before beginning and as the natural light poured in almost as “Jesus rays”:
…praise His glory,
…find His grace,
…ask for help,
…all to draw us nearer to His presence.
that is exactly what chuck + jane were desiring to do with their marriage. to praise Him and glorify Him through their marriage. to find grace in Him with their many imperfections and to show grace to each other in committing to spend their lives together. to ask for help from Him and from the two lifelong friends who proudly stood beside them who also promised to do so. and all during that short ceremony, I could visibly see the transformation as they drew near together into His presence.
I cannot think of a better space for chuck + jane to have made their covenants to God and to each other.
the second and last thing I’d like to share about this day is about chuck + jane themselves.
chuck had been married for fifty years to one of jane’s good friends before she passed away a few years ago.
jane had been married to chuck’s good friend for forty-something years before he passed away a few years ago.
these two couples would vacation together – would spend time together – did life together.
it makes me smile at the natural-ness of these two decades-old-widowers agreeing to spend the rest of their lives together and finding a second chance at love after saying goodbye to their first loves and each others good friends.
their love story is the kind of story that nicholas sparks has to dream up.
but they’re lucky enough to have gotten to live it.
and I’m so fortunate enough to have gotten to photograph it.
thank you, chuck + jane for this special day. 🙂
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