by Victor Leslie, Major –
There I was—standing beneath the canopy of an evening sky. The sun was dancing as it lowered its arms to capture the alluring tranquility of the evening. As I started to climb the winding staircase, the stars were eager to break through the dazzling design of the sun to accentuate the elegant brilliance of this special day—the wedding of our younger daughter. Clearly, you cannot plan life’s perfect moments but today, as Tarrah clasped her hand in mine, an amazing, unique and unforgettable moment was about to be etched forever in my heart and in my memory.
I paused to absorb the giving-away-walk down the aisle and then slowly, but regally, crafted each step, savoring the exhilarating experience. I reminded myself to focus, but my mind was quickly transported to a mere six weeks before, to the wedding of our older daughter Marieka. God, in nature, had serenaded that event, providing sunlit music in the sky and melodic harmony on the ground, forever creating an unforgettable moment of such meteoric intensity that my soul was swept away to lands unknown. Even now, I could still feel the powerful winds of paternal love and pride.
Today, the photographer had promised to deliver the best wedding or event experience possible, aiming to craft a day that was to be a defining moment for us. I chuckled as I thought of the great times of laughter, the life of adventure with paths full of mischievous and mystical moments that I had shared with my daughter. Somehow, the free-spirited wings of childhood had turned into the seriousness and serenity of womanhood. How could the photographer offer today as a defining moment? Was not life full of unforgettable moments that would somehow end up defining us?
To my delight, God—the eternal and original “photographer”—created an explosion of the most gripping thunder and lightning to spray over the hills, tagging our wedding garden with a definite sparkle of love, and igniting in me an epiphanic reaction that saw God work in a mysterious and magnetic way. God had also shown up at this wedding, this time with face detection, anti-shake and wide-angle lens, to remind me that through it all he is there—defining passionate and candid moments, helping to write authentic and illuminating memories that would stay with me long after this day was done. The treasured timelines that make up our daughters’ lives had always contained personalized, recognizable images, all capturing the individuality of two marvelous daughters-— one born on Mother’s Day, the other on Labor Day, both Commissioner’s Sunbeams and now, both third-grade teachers and committed Christians. But on this wedding day, from the camera of God, I had been blessed with a perfect picture of his personal care and fatherly love, a keepsake that would forever provide a priceless cache of precious moments and memories.
God has given me many unforgettable moments, moments when he was so close that I could almost feel him breathe, moments dedicated to the creation of points in time that would forever chart my future and change my destiny. There was the mystery of a moment of salvation, the message of the moment of my calling for service, the marvelous moment of my own wedding to my life’s partner, the melody of each moment of blessing along the way—moments seemingly small enough to discount but big enough to forever change life. And today’s miraculous moment was a particularly tender reverie to be framed, not filed away in the album of life or deleted from my heart’s digital picture frame.
Psalms 31:15, “my times are in your hands,” fluttered up from my heart’s memory box as my strut down center stage ended and I heard those special words, “who gives this woman to be married to this man?” As I answered, God unlocked another unforgettable moment, helping me learn that each moment in time is a treasure to be consciously extracted and a gift to be enjoyed. I turned to take my place and I heard God whisper “look for me in your everyday moments, moments that will help you understand and know and do exactly what you were created for.” As Ezra 9:8 says, “For a brief moment, the LORD our God has been gracious…”