Sometimes I think St. Paul should have added a couple more adjectives to his ubiquitous definition of love.
Because, along with being patient and kind, love is prolific.
And, in addition to not being boastful or proud, it isn’t scary.
I thought about that this weekend as I was lucky enough to attend two beautiful weddings. Twice I sat under a warm Wisconsin sky and watched couples commit to their love for each other and then send it out into the world.
And, twice I saw that love rise from the two happy hearts at the center of the ceremony and grow exponentially as it made its way through the assembled crowd.
Eyes welled, backs straightened, arms linked or stretched to touch shoulders, hands clasped, because, when you bear witness to love, you get to experience it in your own heart.
Man oh man, did my heart swell.
At one wedding, I watched a woman I’d known since she was a 14-year old sprite make her way down the aisle sheathed in elegance and beaming with joy. At another, I saw a young man whose surgically repaired heart knew exactly what it was doing when it convinced him to ask a pretty camp nurse to be his girlfriend three times before she said yes.
Tender moments and thoughtful touches abounded. At one wedding, the brides put together an eight-page tabloid on newsprint that told the story of their love for each other, for Appleton, for photography, for their wedding party, the ceremony, for poetry and for the universe. I’ll be keeping that newspaper forever.
One bride chose her wedding dress based on a painting done by her late grandma. Another bride put her collection of vintage cameras to good use and encouraged guests to use them to capture images of the night.
One bride’s dad spent the night before the ceremony assembling a chuppah, and then spent the night of the ceremony out on the dance floor, graciously dancing with everyone, including me.
A groom’s dad spent three days building a wooden champagne wall. These are handy people, so happy to help and so thrilled to celebrate their children and their mates.
I don’t actually have the audacity to edit St. Paul’s letter to the Corinthians and, the more I think about those two weddings and the four people they honored, I don’t think we need any adjectives at all to describe love.
I think it’s enough to know and to celebrate, to honor, to protect and to be grateful for love.
Love is, and that’s enough.