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Posts Tagged ‘Vows’

Screen Shot 2018-05-19 at 10.36.09 AMOne would have to have been living under a rock to have not been aware of the royal wedding of Prince Harry to Meghan Markle yesterday.

There was pomp and circumstance, movers and shakers in many arenas, delightful children being … children, spectacular music and decor, the exchange of rings and vows and even a rather evangelistic message of love and redemption.

The vows that were made were simple, traditional and sombre (serious). There were vows spoken by many before them, from the most prosperous to the lowest pauper. Perhaps that universality is what makes them as significant as the promises themselves, for the effort to keep such vows is as daunting for all, no matter their circumstance.

A vow is many things. It is a promise, but more than that it is a pledge, a commitment, a dedication, a pledge … a guarantee. When one makes such a vow, as one at a wedding, one is saying,

I will see this happens, until death.

Vows are not necessarily a mandatory custom of marriages all over the world. Nor are they legally binding. So, why say them?

Tradition is probably the main reason that many people still respond to or repeat in their wedding ceremonies. Yet, is that all that wedding vows are for those who repeat or speak them?

In the Bible, vows were addressed, by Moses,

“This is what the Lord commands:
When a man makes a vow to the Lord
or takes an oath to obligate himself by a pledge,
he must not break his word
but must do everything he said.”
Numbers 30:1-2

This message from God reminds us that the words we speak, whether to God or another promise or pledge, is a serious commitment, and must be honoured. Truly we could say that this scripture is the same message as the phrase, my word is my bond, which is “used to indicate that one will always do what one has promised to do” (Mirriam-Webster).

Our vows, spoken in a wedding ceremony, are not just words of tradition, but words of the will. We rise each day willing ourselves to fulfil them, in honour of our word.

May God grant Harry and Meghan, may God grant us all, strength and will to do what has been said … as long as they, as shall live.

 

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Impressions come in many forms. There are the impressions we make on others, either by how we look, or act, or how we make them feel. There are also impressions, like the ones that imprint a physical lasting mark, like a tattoo or a scar.

I have an impression, a scar, on my left ring finger. It is an indelible impression, one that will never go away, one that is permanent.

Over a year ago I noticed a frustratingly itchy rash on my ring finger, the ring finger where I wore my wedding ring. I figured the best was to alleviate the non-stop irritation was to remove my wedding ring.

Sure enough, it worked! Not over night, but eventually (and with the use of a good healing cream), the rash and it’s nasty irritation were gone.

But, I have yet to return to wearing my wedding band. I had gotten out of the habit of wearing it, and that is really saying something, because, other than the few times I was in a hospital, I had never removed my wedding ring (night or day) since my husband placed it on my finger, over twenty-two years ago.

Now, over a year after removing it, there is an impression of that ring still visible on my finger.

It has faded a bit, but only slightly. I have been altered by the symbol of the vow I made all those years ago. It is a permanent scar, forever there to remind me of that vow I made with my words.

That is what the impression of a scar does, it reminds us. It can remind us of when we were a child and suffered a deep wound. A scar reminds us of the surgery that may have saved our life. A scar reminds us of pain.

But a scar, like the one on my ring finger, can also remind us of the hope of a new life with someone, of dreams fulfilled, and ones yet to happen. It can remind us of overcoming pain, of beating struggles, of memories made, and secrets shared and children shared, and a sense of oneness with another that can only be shared by two who bear the same scars.

One of these days I will pull that gold band back out (or maybe hubby will) and place it back on my finger. Until then, there is a permanent scar, an indelible impression that reminds me every day of the past, and the present, and the future to come.

“Children show scars like medals.

Lovers use them as secrets to reveal.

A scar is what happens when the word is made flesh.”

Leonard Cohen

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