Well, I prefer to call it more of a manly sort of tearing up. But it's true. I cannot prevent it. At some point at a wedding, my eyes always fill up and overflow a bit. This past weekend was further proof.
On Friday in Ohio, our friends' daughter had a lovely outdoor wedding. The gathering was joyous and jovial, and I was not thinking I would cry. But as our other friends' sweet little daughters came down the aisle as flower girls dropping the petals, my vision became blurry.
Then on Saturday in Indiana, I was at another outdoor wedding of other friends' son. He stood up front as the bridal party came down the aisle. The groomsmen - all childhood friends of his including my son - came down the aisle escorting the bridesmaids. As the first couple came toward him, the groom began to weep in the joy of the moment, and kept on wiping his eyes as each couple processed. So did I.
Perhaps this phenomenon originated at my own wedding nearly thirty-six years ago. As I stood there at the front of the church, they opened the doors to the back of the sanctuary. Standing there, with a beautiful stained glass window illuminated by the afternoon sun behind her, was Miriam. Even as I write these words, I start doing now what I did then. I cried. I wept through my whole wedding. Miriam giggled at me when I could hardly say my vows through my blubbering. The picture of us walking down the aisle for the recessional shows Miriam beaming with joy and me with my head bowed having just wiped my eyes. Woman is the glory of man as the apostle said. On that day I was struck by this undeserved glory. Every wedding is a reminder. So is every day when I am thinking straight.
This coming Saturday will be tough because there is yet another wedding. This day is even more personal than last weekend, for I am officiating at my youngest son's wedding. Like me, Spencer is marrying up. His bride's father is Dr. Lane Tipton, who certainly could have done the wedding. Yet he said no because he knows he would cry, especially as he gives his oldest daughter away. I would question his manliness if I could, but since I cannot I take comfort in at least knowing that I am in good company. Having given two of my own daughters away, he is right. They would not let me do their weddings, for my girls knew Dad would cry.
At least I know there is one wedding coming that I will attend where I will not cry. For at the marriage supper of the Lamb we are given this promise: "He will wipe away every tear from their eyes, and death shall be no more, neither shall there be mourning, nor crying, nor pain anymore, for the former things have passed away” (Rev. 21:4). What an undeserved glory that will be!
So for now, I will still make sure I have tissues in my pocket on wedding days. And when I use them, I will comfort myself. For I know that, in the marvelous grace of God, one day at a wedding my Savior will be the One wiping my tears away.