"Who offers this woman in marriage today?"
The jolt was fierce. At once, those twenty five years of a different kind of togetherness stopped dead in their tracks.
"This is it," I thought. "This is the end of the one thing I always wanted before I even knew it."
This young woman was the daughter I had to protect from boys who could never love her as much as me.
Until this day, she loved me more than any other man.
Or at least, that's what I hoped.
Now, I had to give it all away?
The space between us had grown different, more distant in recent years, especially since this new man’s arrival. I knew this day was coming. I knew things would have to change, but how could I hold her one second and then give her away so abruptly to a virtual stranger? What kind of God could have devised so seemingly cruel plans?
She nudged me slightly.
"Her Mother and I," strained coarsely through my lip spasms.
I caught her glance as she noticed my swollen and glistening eyes revealing the onslaught of tears gaining momentum. I clumsily leaned over trying to find her cheek. She moved closer to me. My lips finally found it.
I had kissed her thousands of times before, but never like this. I knew we would kiss again, but never in the same way. I knew this kiss marked the end of a great collision in the intersection of our similar dreams. Soon, other dreams would replace those from her childhood. It felt like the last kiss of a father smitten by a little girl who pierced his heart on a hot August day from long ago. It felt like yesterday.
It really wasn't.
I didn't want it to end. I couldn't let go.
"Daddy," she finally said.
I knew what she meant. I couldn't stop the tears.
I hoped through those tears she could now trust how special she was to her imperfect father. I hoped those tears pushed her toward a new beginning with someone else. I hoped she knew it was okay with me for her to love him. I hoped those tears bore witness to my authentic love she always craved but was sometimes afraid to believe.
I hoped she felt it. I hoped she embraced the peculiar faithfulness palpable in their torrent. I hoped she would find the same with this new man.
But mostly, I hoped those tears washed true faithfulness into that curious space between us both...
Ephesians 5:31-33 (KJV)
31 For this cause shall a man leave his father and mother, and shall be joined unto his wife, and they two shall be one flesh. 32 This is a great mystery: but I speak concerning Christ and the church. 33 Nevertheless let every one of you in particular so love his wife even as himself; and the wife see that she reverence her husband
For more on faithfulness go to: http://www.bridgetchumbley.com/2010/03/faithfulness-blog-carnival/