My cousin Jen married her High School sweetheart last Saturday. It was a lovely wedding, filled with white twinkling lights, tulle, and red rose petals. Her sister sang, her father performed the ceremony and almost – just almost – made it through without choking up. His baby girl was getting married.
The evening was a blur of hugs and camera flashes. True to form on my father’s side, family members surrounded us one minute, the next, they were gone – a fine example of exit en masse. Then there were two, said my mom.
With that, the only thing left to do was head for the dessert table. On the way we greeted my great uncle. He looked at us, blinked, and said, Oh, I didn’t recognize you. You see, the last time he saw my mom at a wedding he chortled and said, We’re all getting older aren’t we… Therefore, this opening line was my cue to exit. Without so much as a ‘how are things’ I turned on the balls of my feet and walked away, quickly, before he had time to utter, We’re all getting fatter aren’t we …
Of course, by the time we made it to the food, three grapes and an apple wedge were all that remained for the chocolate fountain; but there, at the end of the table, were three cupcakes waiting just for us. Mmmm… cupcakes …
My favorite part of the evening, however, was the Father/daughter dance. I have a soft spot for father/daughter dances; there’s nothing quite so precious as a girl dancing with the first man she ever loved. But this one was special. You see, a great deal of the people present were at one time or another Assemblies of God – that may be Holy Roller to you. Dancing, in the Assemblies of God, is wrong … so very, very wrong. If you want to take the fast track to hell, drink wine – add dancing to the mix and you might as well grow red horns right then and there because it will happen. Oh yes, my friends, dancing is just that bad.
Yet they danced all the same. First the bride and her dad; then slowly, father-and-daughter by father-and-daughter, others joined in. They were young and old, practiced and not-so-much. Some didn’t build up the nerve until the very end, but they did it. They may have bumbled about, not having a clue what they were doing, but their daughters didn’t care.
As I sat there watching them dance I knew if Jesus had been sitting there, in person, He would be smiling too. His first miracle, after all, was turning water into wine at a wedding. Some try to explain that away as well – he wasn’t yet matured, wine was the only safe beverage to drink. But I think it was something more. I think He knew the key – holiness is available for the taking in good times and in bad, in religious acts and everyday. Yes, we most often see it in prayer and fasting, in worship and outreach. But if we pay attention, we’re just as likely to catch a glimpse of holiness on a dance floor, filled with the purest of love, and the sweetest of laughter.