Love In the Strangest of Places

What would you do on your wedding day? Do you get married at a historical site, in a registrar’s office or at a court house? Do you get married in a temple or a synagogue or a chapel or other religious place? do you then have a wedding party luncheon and a reception in the evening?

I am not married. Out of my eight siblings, five of them have married and each ceremony and/or reception was a little different. But none of them held a reception or luncheon quite like this one.

Picture this:

A beautiful bride, resplendent in her gown, her hair done just right, makeup stunning and jewelry elegant. Her groom, handsome in his suit, hair and beard trimmed neatly, waiting patiently for his bride to place her hand in his.

They say their ‘I do’s and still in their wedding clothes begin to hand out sandwiches to those who are homeless in several parks near where the wedding ceremony takes place.

What?

Why are they doing that? That’s a little odd. Shouldn’t they change first at least?

Not the newly married Deven and Ressurrection Graves. This couple has an unusual beginning. They met in a homeless shelter in Washington, D.C. Deven courted and wooed Ressurrection over the course of several months before she agreed to become Mrs. Graves and they were married two years later on the 50th anniversary of the March on Washington for Jobs and Freedom, which is also the same anniversary of when Martin Luther King, Jr. gave his ‘I have a dream’ speech.

This couple still works with the homeless to this day through a non-profit organization that they founded. It’s called Glory Soldiers Global.

You might be wondering why I’m blogging about this so late at night. I was just sending a last email before bed to several members of my church, once logging out I did a quick browse of the current news available and stumbled across an article of this couple (http://www.today.com/news/couple-who-met-homeless-shelter-pay-it-forward-help-others-2D12089799). Their story touched my heart and I knew that I had to write about it before I went to bed while it was still fresh in my mind. I have a bad habit about forgetting to do something with it comes to writing sometimes. (Which isn’t good as that is kind of my job outside of being a homemaker.)

Even if their story doesn’t catch your interest the way it did mine, I hope that you take a moment to check out the webpage for their non-profit Glory Soldiers Global (http://www.glorysoldiersglobal.org/).

And the next time you see someone who doesn’t have a steady roof over their head, remember this: they can become anyone if only they’re given a little bit of hope for their future.

Parents of the Bride/Groom

This is the last time you get to look at your daughter or son and know that they are just yours. They are in your family first and when it comes to familial loyalties, everyone else would be second. Once they’re married, on the other hand, they aren’t yours first anymore; they are someone else’s.

“Therefore shall a man leave his father and his mother, and shall cleave unto his wife: and they shall be one flesh.” (Genesis 2:24)

“And said, For this cause shall a man leave father and mother, and shall cleave to his wife.” (Matthew 19:5)

When your child marries, they are starting a new family and that family is now their first priority in all things. That doesn’t mean that you are thrown by the wayside or completely discarded, but it means that you are no longer the most important person in their lives.

They have grown up learning from you, what to do or say or how to live. Even if it’s learning these things by your example they are still learning by watching you. You have put your blood, sweat and tears into raising this child and now they are going off away from you. They will still be your child, but that won’t be the first thing people think about them anymore.

That doesn’t mean that they don’t still need you. You may not be the first person they run to when in need of help, that honor is now for their spouse, but that doesn’t mean that you don’t exist anymore.

Sometimes it’s hard to know this. Our world has become so busy and there are so many problems and solutions to everything and anything that people often forget (or want to forget) where they came from. But there will always be something of you in these grown up people that used to need you for everything. You raised them after all and some part of them will always remember that, even if it’s only in the little things. But you are important, because your child is here and getting married and that wouldn’t have been possible without you in the first place.

“And thou shalt teach them diligently unto thy children, and shalt talk of them when thou sittest in thine house, and when thou walkest by the way, and when thou liest down, and when thou risest up.” (Deuteronomy 6:7)

“But ye will teach them to walk in the ways of truth and soberness; ye will teach them to love one another, and to serve one another.” (Mosiah 4:15)

They know what a family is because of you. They know what to do and what not to do because of you.

They are not trying to hurt you by leaving you. They want to go out and do what you have taught them with their own family started.

“Honour thy father and thy mother: that thy days may be long upon the land which the Lord thy God giveth thee.” (Exodus 20:12)

Thank you for raising us to be able to do the things we do. Thank you for being there for us when we fell and when we flew through the skies. Thank you for loving us enough to let us go.

Written in honor of my mother, who went to Hell and back for her children and quietly loved us all.