We took lots of pictures for back then, but nothing compared to what photographers do in this day of digital cameras. I can't remember the last time we looked at our wedding photographs. They're in an album somewhere in the basement, memorials to an event that changed our lives. These days, besides the requisite formal poses with the wedding party, parents, and pastor, there are myriads of candids, hundreds of photos of the preparations, the wedding itself, the reception, and assorted others that the bride, the groom, and parents believe to be necessary.
We attempt to encapsulate significant events on film, not realizing that the event itself is a spiritual happening, the essence of which cannot be captured. This is particularly true of Christian weddings, which are in fact, worship services. We review the pictures, hoping to experience again the joys, the depths of emotion, even our sense of the presence of God, usually to no avail. Photographs, and even videos can record the appearance of the event, but not its heart.
Still, I wish I had thought to take a picture of today's lunch with Abi at Steadman Corners Coffee Shop. Abi is particularly close to her sister Alex, she loves coffee, and I love Abi, so believing that the day after Alex's going to college might be difficult for her, before Alex left for college yesterday, I had made arrangements for Abi and I to have coffee together. After swim practice this morning, I picked her up and we drove to Steadman Corners. The building was formerly a General Store back in the late 1800's, has had a few reincarnations without ever really changing the building itself, and today is a quaint coffee roasters and shop where you can get a light lunch, coffee, and atmosphere. Abi loved it, and I reveled in the opportunity to bless her and to listen to her heart as we talked about life, her hopes and dreams, and the challenges before her.
I forgot to take a photo, but it's OK. A photo cannot contain the spirituality of the occasion. The afternoon is firmly in my mind and even more firmly in my heart, which is filled with gratitude tonight for the privilege of sharing an afternoon coffee with my granddaughter.