ASHLEY was breathtaking. The woman that knows things about me that would bring a screeching halt to any presidential aspirations that I’ve ever had looked like something out of a fairy tale. Brides like her are the precise reason that little girls carefully put on their very fanciest princess dresses and throw a sheet over their heads to practice the slow step-by-step of walking down the aisle with their daddies. It was such sheer joy to watch Ashley walk down the aisle towards the love of her life after having walked together through our respective engagements over the course of the past year. Up until my wedding, we slept in bunk beds [our lives are very glamorous] and would often find ourselves chatting into the wee small hours of the morning, comparing notes and thanking the good Lord that we lived together as we quickly determined that we’d both conclude that our relationships were irreparably dysfunctional if not for the other. [Being engaged is hard, y’all.]
One of the most beautiful moments of the whole weekend was the morning of the wedding, when both families and a couple of close friends gathered to watch Ashley and Dan wash each other’s feet. Tears pricked at the back of my eyes as the symbolism washed over me—watching a man and a woman committing to honor and serve each other, KNOWING that neither of them would deserve it. Understanding that after the tux has been returned and the dress has been preserved, when the flowers are hopelessly buried in a landfill and nobody can remember whether the cake was pumpkin cream or chocolate raspberry, when programs and twinkle lights and music sets and carefully choreographed dances are all impossibly hazy memories, the one thing that will remain is that sacred vow to wash each other’s feet. For better or for worse, when careless, tired words have wounded and hearts throb, when life crumbles and they walk with an aching longing for the comfortable familiar, when they are confronted with the festering, gangrenous selfishness in each other and in themselves, with tears they will fall back on that vow. They will fail a million times over, and still choose, by the power of a God that had already washed their feet, to try again tomorrow. And it will be the hardest, best thing that they had ever done.
Weddings are good for my marriage. I’ll confess that Kellan and I were none too thrilled with each other for the first little piece of Ashley’s wedding day [on account of me being exceptionally terrible at the whole I will wash your feet thing], and the reminder of our own vow was sweet. We held each other’s hands and remembered for better or for worse. And I was so grateful, all over again, that I get to be married to Kellan Dickens.