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Earlier this year, I began work on a series of reflections for engaged couples, which are part of a larger project I have envisioned for those about to take the marriage journey together. As Thanksgiving approaches, I have chosen this reflection on…home..
In 2003, we visited the Canadian Maritimes and, specifically, Nova Scotia. Its Capitol, Halifax, is beautiful, especially Victoria Park, which is reportedly the largest urban garden park in North America, across from the internationally recognized Dalhousie University. Well worth a visit.
We took a bus tour around the eastern and southern tip of the province, and one spot, Mahone Bay, stands out. As you approach the town from the east, you come up on the sight of the steeples of three churches, which date back to the 19th century. The town and the bay have been used in a number of Hallmark Hall of Fame shows, as well as in feature films. We have a photo I took from the southwest approach as part of a collection on our basement wall.
The steeples have lights that shine in the darkness to welcome seafarers, residents, friends, and strangers, sending the message, “You have arrived. You are safe. While you’re here, do not fear the storms outside. Welcome home.”
We each have to establish our own home as husband and wife. In the excitement of the engagement period, the soul searching of pre-marriage counseling, and the planning and details that are part of preparing for the wedding, I think, sometimes, the “day after” and the day after that is not always in sight. You will be living as one, and what will that look like?
It will be a statement of your collective and personal experiences leading up to your marriage.
It will be your place of shelter, safety, faith, hope, and love.
It will be, at times, your only refuge where your spouse is your only friend.
It will be the beginning of what will be many, many changes as you grow in your marriage, some great, some good, some painful, some very lonely, but ideally, with God’s love and mercy at the center.
In a dark, isolated, at-times angry world, you will shine your beacon, telling all who enter:
“Love lives here, God’s mercy and grace is at the center. You are safe.”