Last night we enjoyed a simple supper of homemade turkey noodle soup and fresh bread at a table surrounded by both old and young engaging in animated conversation. Toward the end of the meal Klaus casually said, “Brooke and I went shopping for antiques today…. and we got engaged.”
He said it so matter-of-factly, we all froze, waiting for a punch line. But then we looked at the smiling Brooke, who slowly raised her left hand to reveal a sparkling diamond ring. Klaus wasn’t kidding!
Everyone broke into applause, jumping from their chairs and scrambling over each other to deliver congratulations and hugs. Grandchildren Nicholas, Evelyn, and Thomas were stunned at our crazy behavior, wondering how the focus so rapidly had shifted from dessert to a ring.
But we wanted the juicy details. Klaus had enlisted the help of several friends to pull off his surprise, “planting” them and his ring at an antique store ahead of time. Store employees were in on it too, willingly nestling the diamond ring among others inside a glass case. Brooke had been looking for a casual ring of turquoise, so the two of them were browsing through the jewelry. When Klaus nonchalantly pointed out the diamond ring and said, “How ‘bout that one?” Brooke was puzzled.
But when he dropped to one knee, her bewilderment changed to joy, and the clerks broke into tears. As planned, Klaus’ friends caught everything on film, a successful surprise with a lovely ending.
Or I should say “beginning.”
Anyone who’s experienced a proposal can vividly recall that moment. How a man handles this important event makes a mark on the relationship that will last throughout the marriage, not just in the woman’s mind, but in his, too.
By giving an engagement ring, a man is pledging to put that one woman above all others, which is the official beginning of an exclusive, lifelong bond marked by a special ring. He is promising her, and she is believing him. And since marriage was God’s idea, he’s involved in that moment, too, holding up a banner that reads, “Loving commitment.”
When a man proposes, he’s lovingly committing to his fiancee’, which greatly pleases the Lord. But yesterday God wasn’t just standing by passively at the antique store. He was making a commitment, too, to be as involved in their relationship as they ask him to be.
He has said that earthly marriage is a visual for the relationship between Jesus and the Church worldwide, which is us. So, as Klaus honors God by staying faithful to the loving commitment he made yesterday to Brooke, and as Brooke responds to him with respect, their marriage will thrive and God will be blessed. Bumps in the road will be made smooth, and they’ll make it to their 50th wedding anniversary hand-in-hand.
As for the rest of us, we are thrilled to welcome vivacious Brooke into the Nyman family and are eagerly looking forward to celebrating with them at their spring wedding!
“Let no one split apart what God has joined together.” (Mark 10:9)