Withstand, Stand With
What do you see in this photo, shot by a legendary Time/Life photographer? Titled “Resilience,” it is in the widely distributed Carmel Magazine, a free gab/glam mag, on newsstands all over the Central Coast this summer
There’s Big Sur’s iconic Whale Peak in the distance on the dramatic Pacific coast. And a sort of Renaissance collection of folks: an adoring couple, pledging their love. Their sick friends and attendants, witnesses/devotees.
And then me, the wedding officiant, in the middle, masked and blowing in the wind. Wearing my rainbow stole to affirm God’s love for everyone. And trying not to get poison oak, amidst which we are all standing.
My son’s friend, a great photographic assistant, asked me to “play” this role, just show up for the planned shoot in the early days of lockdown. They hoped to convince Carmel Mag and other media outlets to use it to promote the idea of “Resilience.”
The caption is very Carmel-esque: “The great people of Carmel and our country are as resilient as this gorgeous coast. This image pays homage to our strength, courage, diversity and love for each other as we work to defeat this deadly pandemic.”
Yes, love is “resilient,” meaning, “withstands, recovers from difficulty.” So is the coast. We all suffer from hardship, but we withstand, and stand with (at a distance) to affirm love.
These were mostly sweet LA folks up for a nice Carmel weekend, and I had to point out that the place they chose was carpeted with poison oak. I said, “Stop at CVS on the way home and get some Tecnu. I hope your memories of this escapade are good, not scratchy.”
Old retired minister that I am, I don’t perform many weddings anymore. But over the past 40 years I have been celebrant for hundreds of loving couples, many on this wild, beautiful landscape, with friends, resilience, and sometimes challenge (wind, poison oak.) A good metaphor for marriage.
My Blue Theology ministry celebrates and blesses all the ways we experience God’s love and power at the ocean and coast side. A wedding is a good opening, and keeps us resilient, withstanding, standing with.
I post these ocean devotions every Wednesday hereand on Facebook Be in touch, come and sea!