I’m currently in the middle of a two part post about me finding Jesus as an unbeliever, and then rediscovering him again as a Christian. But, lest I only talk about my trouble, hurts, misunderstandings, discoveries, and healings I received, I have to take time to acknowledge the past week I spent in Los Angeles.
As a blogger/writer/etc. I am supposed to bring you some form of inspiration. Some kind of writing and some kind of story that charges and challenges you on ways to make life better, ways to tread less selfishly, ways to live more productively, or ways to live honestly. Ultimately, I hope to inspire you through what I’ve gleaned from my trials, failures and successes, but every once in a while I just have a story to tell.
Last week I was honored to step foot in my home country. I got off the plane at LAX and inhaled deeply the smoggy air. My first order of business, after my 15 hour flight, was to grab some grub with a friend, Peter. I had met him back in Taiwan and he just so happened to live in Los Angeles. After fine dinning I was dropped off at an oh-so-trendy coffee joint to grab my first cup of damn good coffee in nearly half a year #firstworldproblems. Sipping on my perfectly tended to Black Cat espresso, I began to feel a smidge of culture shock sink in as I eavesdropped into conversations around me. I was aware of the Fifty Shades of Gray hype. I was unaware that Kim Kardashian and Kanye West were an item, but that’s old news. The real shocker was the Cruise and Holmes break up. I also had no idea who Emily Maynard was. My minor culture shock could have been induced by the fact I could fully understand everyone around me.
The culture shock evaporated when I locked eyes on the Dubinsky couple approaching. Lauren knew I was in town and we had collaborated to create this surprise for my dear friend, Max, Lauren’s husband. “Can I grab you guys some coffee,” I said to the back of Max’s head. To which he turned to offer some kind gesture of “thanks, but no thanks.” But to his surprise, and his wife’s smiles, I was standing there.
Shortly after my time with the Dubinsky’s, my extraction party came to pick me up. The elation felt when one reunite after a significant amount of time apart is nearly indescribable. It had been half a year since I had wrapped my arms around Tysen, the husband to be, and Elise, the bride to be. Their wedding was the whole purpose I was in town, and their generosity was the only reason I could make it.
I had arrived a few days before the festivities began to spend some one-on-one time with Tysen and was honored to be warmly welcomed into both the bride and groom’s families. By mid-week, most of the 24 members of the bridal party arrived. Yeah, 24. Who said there had to be a limit of 8 or 6?
ODE TO VIRTUE
My entire week was marked by the virtue I saw in imperfect people. More than once I sat outside myself and asked God, “Is this real?” For what I was experiencing was two amazing individuals dedicating the rest of their imperfect lives to one another. No prenuptial agreement, or ways out. They were dedicating their own lives to the pursuit of God’s best intentions for one another. Fully aware that life beyond marriage was not going to be a trip in the park and that the honeymoon would most likely end sooner than later, they were getting ready to say “I do” in the witness of two large families and an insanely large bridal party.
Tysen, the groom, is a natural born introvert, which makes perfect sense as to why he had twelve groomsmen. I was puzzled as to why there were so many groomsmen, but it became clear through the week that Tysen has forgone the stereotype of only having a few close friends. As I stood among the twelve during the wedding ceremony I realized all these men were here because Tysen, the man standing next to the beautiful bride to be, had a profound impact in each one of our lives.
The ceremony itself was an act of worship to honor all that God had done for these two. Consequently, God was honoring their dedication to doing what is right by giving them to each other. Near the end of the ceremony, Tysen did something that I have not yet seen or heard of in any wedding. He spoke of their already acknowledged weaknesses that both him and Elise had as individuals and as a couple and humbly asked that we would pray for the future of their marriage. I can honestly tell you that speaking of the struggles my marriage is going to face, in front of those at my wedding, is something I had never entertained. All the men who want to admit imperfection in front of those at their wedding raise your hand. No takers? I didn’t think there would be. It was one of the purest forms of godly transparency I have ever seen.
After the ceremony and the exodus of the newly married couple in a inappropriately decked out escape car, I found myself sitting on a porch, near midnight, debriefing the events of the week with two dear friends, Luke Johnston from Spokane, WA and Jason Betz from Tulsa, Oklahoma. It was unanimous between the three of us that the inspiration, impact, and blessing this week brought to everyone involved was due to the virtuous lives of Tysen and Elise Cahill. Their virtue not being found in their perfection, or lack of sin, but being found in their dedication, trust, and faith in the Lord.