"O M W," he texts me. It would have been cryptic and uncrackable if he hadn't just warned us. "I'll text you when I'm on my way," he had said, his eyes flashing excitement, hair freshly-cut, the ring safely tucked away.
"They're on their way," I called out to Mark, Daniel, and Morgan. Grabbing my camera, I dashed outside, bare feet trampling warm spring grass.
"Isn't it like a twenty minute bike ride, Mom?" Morgan asked.
"I don't mind." I wandered in my front yard, soaking in the seventy degree sunshine, stroking red tulip heads and brushing fingers through velvety hedge growth.
"Congratulations! Let's see the ring!" They giggled and stepped off the bike, standing arm in arm.
That night after the dozens of phone calls to the relatives, after our two new families merged for an impromptu family grill-out of hot dogs and watermelon, and after praying aloud on the back deck for the new couple, everyone went home, and an emotional happy silence fell on the house.
"Mom, do you know about Jewish weddings?" John asked, towering over me at the sink as I washed hands.
With neither family Jewish, his question surprised me. "Well, my grandpa performed a Jewish wedding for my cousin years ago..." I trailed off.
"Well, I've been learning about this somewhere. Did you know in some Jewish customs the bridegroom had to go to his father's house and prepare a home for his wife before he could marry her?"
Sudden word pictures sank in deep to me.
"We're like the bride," he said, and the beauty of it surged clearer to me.
Jesus's words in the biblical book of John chapter fourteen rang in sharper meaning for me suddenly. Jesus talked about the rooms in his Father's house, and about going there to prepare a place for us. "And if I go to prepare a place for you, I will come again and take you" with me so that we can be together there, he said.
It strikes me that we're all the pretty, shiny red-cheeked fiancees, and our Beloved is coming soon.
(If you are near the Farmington area, you are welcome to check ticket-availability to join me at the Mother-Daughter luncheon at Bible Baptist Church this Saturday, May 14th. I'm looking forward to that time and sharing there with them.)