An Inward View

“The obscure we see eventually, the completely apparent takes longer.” – Edward R. Murrow

Sometimes, when times are turbulent and the future is uncertain, it can help to adjust our perspective. Look to the right, and to the left. Catch a glimpse of the surrounding beauty. A flower outside the window. A smile on the mail carrier’s face. A budding tree. A beloved pet. A favorite book. A loved one. Perspective can help us rediscover what is right in front of us. When we zoom in on this inward place and take time to focus, we might find the best view in the house.

Forbidden Places

Claire,

Our hearts, scorched from rage, were on the verge of turning to ash. The things you said. The things I said. It seemed like the pain of it all had smothered us for good. I was preparing for a life of celibacy and solitude. For who could I ever love but you?

Like an endless winter storm my days were barren. Then, like a streak of lightning, your words broke through the cold silence of our hurt and started a new fire, a brush fire that flamed and became white hot before it spread throughout my body. I am still stunned, no dazed, by what I felt the moment that fire—that passion—reignited. It was hotter than anything I’d ever felt, like you’d led us into a raging forest fire that cleansed and renewed our love for one another.

This morning I am more in love with you than ever. I need the kind of love only you can give, the kind of intimacy that is holy and pure and without equal. I need you to carry me to forbidden places that only you and I should go.

Yours,
Tom

In reply to The Storm.

The Storm

Your eyes reflect the shards of my heart.

The dark circles you wear mimic

thunderclouds at night.

I am the storm that blew into your life.

My positive and negative charges

delighted you.

Until they unnerved you.

Now, we are left in the aftermath of

the storm.

Your heart bleeds from the sharp, jagged

words that fell from my lips.

Still, you crave my sweet and gentle kiss.

Just as I will forever crave yours.

—Written to Tom from Claire

GOIN’ TO THE CHAPEL …

AND WE’RE GONNA GET MARRIED

For all of you who still believe in the institution of marriage, we do too. Marriage can and should evolve with society, and when it’s based around true love, anything is possible. Love is a powerful force. Join us as two hearts dear to us here at Scattered Love Letters step forward as one. They wrote and performed their own vows and ceremony. How romantic! We love that!

Gathering Words
A wedding is a wonderful occasion, filled with hopes, dreams, and excitement. We are here to celebrate the love we have for each other, and to openly express our decision to journey forward in our lives as marriage partners.

In 1 Cor 13, Paul writes:
Love is patient, love is kind. It does not envy, it does not boast, it is not proud. It is not rude, it is not self-seeking, it is not easily angered, it keeps no record of wrongs. Love does not delight in evil, but rejoices with the truth. It always
protects, always trusts, always hopes, always perseveres. Love never fails.

Groom
I have never before known the desire and passion you have created in me.

I never imagined these feelings were even possible.

Words cannot describe our spiritual, physical, and emotional connection. From the moment we met, I discovered a unique bond with a truly special person. My life was forever changed, and now, with you in my life, each day is truly lovely.

We came together from separate paths and today begin our journey along the same road, our destinies forever linked, our lives intertwined.

I have heard that love consists not of gazing into each other’s eyes, but of looking outward together in the same direction.

From deep within my heart, I love you.

In you I have found someone to share not only the good times, but the bad; not only the pleasure, but the pain; someone to support and be supported by.

You are my companion to confide in and console.

You are my best friend, and I am sure that with you, none of life’s obstacles will stand in our way. Together we will enjoy all life has to offer.

My love, my soulmate, my partner, my best friend – today, I ask you to be my wife and companion. I commit myself to you for the rest of our lives together … and beyond.

Bride
Our friendship developed quickly, with a deep respect for each other’s talent and ability. As we supported and guided each other, with God’s help, you led me to look into my heart and soul, as together we shared our hopes, dreams, fears, and desires for the future.

Sometime, probably sooner than either of us knew, we fell in love, and now, as I gaze into your eyes, I look into your soul and I join you there.

I have fallen in love with you a thousand times.

I will fall in love with you thousands more, giving my love to you freely.

I know that we will be tested by the routines of daily life, by chance and circumstance, and by the full cycle of the seasons of life. I am entering into our marriage knowing that together we will face life’s sorrow no less than its sweetness, its frustration along with its grace and ease, its disappointment along with its fulfillment.

I promise that, as your partner, I will do my best to help us keep our hearts open to each other and the love flowing between us even at the times this may be hardest to do.

I will remain at your side, holding you close and supporting you above all.

The strength of the connection we have between us was evident when we first met. In our lives, I will continue to explore and develop that connection.

As I give myself to you in marriage, I vow to be a loving partner, filled with passion and friendship.

When we are apart, I will always look at the sky and the moon, knowing that we are together, never truly apart, for our hearts and souls are so incredibly linked.

You have freed my wings for flying, and I will fly with you forever.

I will look for your secret places and share mine with you, always working to keep our love new, exciting, adventurous, and young, especially as it grows in maturity and familiarity.

You were made to love me and I was made to love you.

Our destinies intertwined, bringing us together here today and for the rest of our lives.

Keep your loving arms around me.

Our love proves to me that miracles really do happen.

It will last forever.

Band Exchange
These bands are circles, and circles are symbolic of the sun, the earth, and the universe.

As arms that embrace, these wedding bands we give and receive this day reflect the circle of shared love into which we enter as partners in life.

May we always be blessed, and may we abide in peace and love.

May this band, that is identical to mine, always remind you that from this day forward, you will be surrounded by my love.

Pronouncement and Final Blessing
May the grace of this day carry forward with us all the days of our lives. May we find delight in each other and may our love continue to grow and to nurture us throughout our lives. And may we nurture ourselves and our marriage with acceptance, understanding, cooperation, and loving.

May the life we share be peaceful, healthy, and filled with blessings and joy.

And now, by the power vested in me, I witness and affirm our union of love and pronounce that we are husband and wife.

May the grace and wisdom of God be always with us. May the love of God always fill us, surround us, and protect us. Amen.

Bride
Now, we go forth in peace, joy and celebration.

Bride & Groom
Let’s kiss!