The Breath of God

8 02 2009

Yesterday I found myself in Baguio City, a good 6-hour bus ride from Manila, to attend and perform at the wedding of two college friends.

It really was a weekend of firsts: I’ve never left the house at 10PM to return 48 hours later (at least, that’s how long I predict it will be for me to get back), I’ve never caught a bus to got out of Manila at 12 midnight. I’ve never arrived in Baguio City (the coldest city in the Philippines, climate-wise, as far as I’m concerned) at 530AM – believe me, it is COLD. I’ve never unwittingly convinced so many people that I’m actually a good violinist – I really have to shake my head at that one. I’ve never allowed myself to voluntarily dance at any social event, let alone at a wedding – it’s still very awkward for me (I’m still stuck-up when it comes to how I appear in public), but it’s not entirely unpleasant…I could probably do it again, under the right circumstances.

But perhaps the most important first for me is that this is the first wedding that just seemed undeniably, inexorably (I really like that word) holy. Nevermind that I don’t really know the couple all that well, and that 70% of the time I felt like an outsider who had been invited mainly because he plays the violin – you had this real sense that the whole thing had been abundantly blessed by God – in public. The perfect weather (late afternoon), the music that was performed better than had been practiced, the huge outpouring of love for the couple from family and friends (some of whom came from abroad just for this) – but more importantly, the testimony that both bride and groom brought to the altar: the unchanging emphasis on how God was, and still is, first in their lives, even with regards to one another, and how keeping Him as their “first, greatest love” was the only way for bride and groom to continue loving one another through the years (that really struck a chord in me – in ways I’m still ruminating over). It also helped that at key points in the ceremony, a fair gust would blow across the hills and through the pines, and, would speak, as one of the pianists pointed out. I would like to see it as the Breath of God.

I had prepared myself for some hilarity to break out at some point, given how the ground where we stood sloped downhill (if you leaned in the wrong direction, well…you get the idea), how the musicians took so long to come to decisions about a certain number, how the wind would blow our sheet music and lead sheets into our faces right when we were busy playing them – but I have to take all that back. It was an amazing wedding…easily the best I’ve ever attended/performed at – and I think it will be an amazing marriage.

I look back, and have to say that feeling left out of the loop was but a small price to pay to witness something like this – something that the world gets so wrong so often, but in this instance God Himself made right. As the lessons witnessed in these past 36 hours are made more clear to me, expect more posts about this.

In the meantime, I now leave the city of Baguio thinking that if and when my own time comes (and I do pray it’s more a question of when and not if), I’d like God to breathe on my wedding, too – and now commit myself to doing my part to allow Him to do so.

One more lungful of the cool, pine-scented air…and we are off.




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