I knew the question was coming. I had helped to select my ring at a local jewelry store. I had a good idea that the question would be popped while in San Diego. Still, I never imagined a scene so perfect and so filled with the presence of God.
The day started with a trip to Mt. Soledad. It continued with a visit to Sunset Cove and then another beach or two before arriving in the quaint community of Coronado. We drove to the hotel, walked all over admiring the weddings and graduation receptions taking place, went inside to enjoy some refreshment at the bar, and then went back outside where Craig led me to a series of rocks on the edge of the ocean.
We climbed on top of the rocks before Craig got down on one knee, said the sweetest things I have ever heard, and then said, "Will you marry me?" I replied, "Yes!" and just as I did, a huge wave soaked us. The rocks were dry when we climbed on top of them. The rocks were covered with water, however, along with half of our bodies, when we climbed down from them.
Craig tells me that he wanted to propose on the rocks, recognizing who our rock is - how Jesus is the foundation on which we stand and on which we intend to build our marriage.
The beauty of creation was all around us - we could see and experience God. Yet, nothing spoke of God's presence and power more than the wave - a wave that reminded me of the waters of our baptism when we were first cleansed of our sin and initiated into Christ's holy church - a wave that reminded me of the source of living water - a wave that surprised us, refreshed us, and made us laugh.
Isaiah 43 begins:
But now thus says the Lord, he who created you,
O Jacob, he who formed you, O Israel:
Do not fear, for I have redeemed you;
I have called you by name, you are mine.
When you pass through the waters, I will be with you;
and through the rivers, they shall not overwhelm you;
when you walk through fire you shall not be burned,
and the flame shall not consume you.
For I am the Lord your God,
the Holy One of Israel, your Savior.
I am told any time I work with a couple about to be married or a couple going through a rocky time in their relationship that marriage is not easy. It is a series of give and takes, concessions and professions. There is no doubt in my mind that we will have our highs and our lows, our laughter and our tears. I firmly believe that God is the one who sustains a marriage - that God must stand at the center in order for any marriage to endure the test of time and temptation.
Craig and I have experienced God's presence often in our relationship, especially on Sunday. May God continue to be with us when we cross over the rivers or when we are surprised by the crashing waves, and may we continue to drink of the living water that never runs dry.
Thanks be to God!