“Or what woman, if she owns ten silver coins and loses one of them, won’t light a lamp and sweep the house, searching her home carefully until she finds it? 9 When she finds it, she calls together her friends and neighbors, saying, ‘Celebrate with me because I’ve found my lost coin.’ 10 In the same way, I tell you, joy breaks out in the presence of God’s angels over one sinner who changes both heart and life.”Luke 15:8-10
This is a story about wedding rings. Yesterday evening, over a wonderful dinner at the Nantucket Grill, I gave Rebekah a beautiful new rose-gold band to replace the one that was lost. Well, not really: let me explain.
I guess I should begin all the way back in 2004, when Rebekah and I celebrated our 25th anniversary in a variety of ways, including an epic three weeks in Scotland and a stunning new wedding ring.
Rebekah still had/has the original from 1979; it’s a beautiful band, but the design led – over the years – to an uncomfortable fit that eventually started to cut into her finger. That, plus some of the significant challenges we had been navigating as a family, combined with the 25-year landmark to be the perfect time for a ring that symbolized the joy, the commitment, the faith, the struggle, and the promise that is a great marriage.
Here it is, a gold and platinum band with a Celtic knot, the perfect representation of where we are as people of faith, grace, mercy, and hope.
So ten days ago, when we went to Alexandria for our friend’s beautiful wedding weekend, it came as quite a shock to Rebekah when – halfway through the reception – she was washing her hands and noticed that her ring was gone.
We searched. The hotel plumber went into the bathroom drain. We retraced our steps. We put the word out. Other people searched. We searched some more.
Her hand felt naked!
Rebekah said her hand felt naked. So after we returned home we went to Jared’s. We got her finger properly sized. Then Rebekah searched on-line for hours. We talked about designs and karats and millimeters and inscriptions.
Eventually, we found just the right replacement band. But we were still sad, because it would be impossible to replace the meaning and the experience and the wear and tear of her 2004 band. Nevertheless we selected, and sized, and had the inscription done, and the ring was on its way to Maul-Hall. When…
When… Rebekah found the missing 2004 gold and platinum Celtic knot loaded with experience and love wedding band! Woohoo!!!!
But we decided to keep the new ring. Because when I put it on her finger at the restaurant Monday evening, I felt the same love (the pure, shiny, new and excited anticipation for the future love) in the deepest parts of my soul that I felt August 18, 1979, when we started this unfathomable journey into promise.
This “Ring of Power” – forged in the white-hot furnaces of God’s life-initiating love – is symbolic of what redemption and commitment make possible in the context of relationships rooted in ongoing faithfulness, both to God and one-another.
So now there are three. They are the first three photos in this gallery (1979, 2004, 2022). But they are One: emblems of a life together so spectacular it keeps getting refined into something even better – DEREK