May be an image of Lori Rhodes and Ray Rhodes and outdoors

A quiet and frosty morning draped in early spring’s darkness gives way to a bright and majestic sun, it’s beams sparkling on the early morning dew and warming our yard. Childhood dreams of a wedding at home in the space that you played in will be realized today. But—wherever you might have been on this day pales in significance to the one you will be with today, the man of your dreams who will soon say to you, “come away with me.”

Hannah, you and I are early risers— and for you, two eggs in oil, not butter, well done, bacon and grits and coffee, not too hot—your menu for quite some time. Just the two of us, at the table early—darkness lingering outside, a time to catch up, talk about the day, and read a devotional passage from Spurgeon before you left for work. Sweet times indeed. And, before coming to the table, you had already opened your Bible and sought the Lord. You moved away—but those early mornings with you have stayed with me, and, I imagine, with you.

Our family was given a gift this week—the week leading up to this day—wedding week if you will. The gift was you, back at home, and breakfast with you again—just the two of us—and then the rest. 

Last night the laughter abounded until late—sisters close at hand. I heard. I am glad. Through times good and bad, up and down—sideways and straight—at the end of the day, sometimes through tears—laughter won over. Sister devotion is strong and sealed upon your heart.

Sounds are now drifting into my room; the day is breaking. Soon the voices of mom, sisters, bridesmaids and friends will fill the air—frantic last-minute preparations in our home at the same time hair is curled, makeup is placed, and hot water gives way to cold. All the voices—precious to you. But there is a voice to you that is distinct—one that you await. 

The voice of my beloved!

Behold he comes,

Leaping over the mountains, 

Bounding over the hills.

The bridegroom will soon come, to take you away—the two shall be one. You both will leave and cleave closely to one another. We do not lose—but gain. We gain you with Josh and Josh with you. Something new. Something as old as Creation. Something good. Something holy.

And to him—like your mom is to me—you are “O Most Beautiful Among Women.” 

Soon he will arrive. Yet, as lovely as he is—his greatest quality will be in pointing you to the one whose love is all surpassing. Our home on the hill—the pasture and lake before us—purple, green, red, white, and yellow—smiling faces, mothers crying and sisters standing, he will look only at you.

 “Who gives this woman to be married to this man?” Ahh, our little girl is indeed a woman and with blessings, joy, and a few tears and many prayers, I will say: “Her mother and I.”

Today is a day of gladness for you and Josh. You are so much like your mother—inwardly and outwardly beautiful. She treasures you—she is in you—she is with you. We all are. But now, his voice draws near. Your ear is bended—the air crisp and the birds are singing with him- “Come Away with Me.”

Arise, my love, my beautiful one,

and come away,

for behold, the winter is past;

the rain is over and gone.

The flowers appear on the earth,

the time of singing has come,

and the voice of the turtledove is heard in our land.

Arise, my love, my beautiful one, and come away.

And if I go and prepare a place for you, I will come again and will take you to myself, that where I am you may be also.

Hannah, your marriage to Josh today looks to that day—and a feast like no other.

The marriage of the Lamb has come,

And his Bride has made herself ready;

It was granted her to cloth herself

With fine linen, bright and pure.

I love you, Hannah


Passages from The Song of Solomon, John 14, and Revelation 19

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