THREE DAYS OF INCREDIBLE JOY
This past weekend Linus John Morris and Danielle Helene Coetzee were married. It was a three day event, all three days of which I had the privilege of participating in. Friday night was the first bachelor party I have ever attended, Saturday was the rehearsal dinner and time of sharing, and Sunday was the wedding, reception, dinner, and party that followed.
It was, in my humble opinion, one of the most incredible weddings of the 21st century. One friend said, “It was the BEST wedding ever!!!!! The three days can be summed up by a sword, a chalice, and a knife. Here what I mean:
Friday night Linus Jr gathered together his groomsmen, several close friends, his father-in-law to be, and his dad (that’s me) for a dinner followed by a time of sharing around a camp fire. Each of the men present shared what Linus Jr meant to them and qualities about his life that they were grateful for. Words like integrity, courage, and risk taker, and caring were among the things mentioned.
Toward the end of the time, I presented my son with a Brave-heart Sword with the message that he had shown that that he had what it takes to live life as an adventure, rescue a beauty whom he was about to marry, and fight the battle for Christ and His kingdom. John Eldredge speaks of these three things in his book Wild at Heart. One of the things that made this evening so meaningful was the presence of several of Linus Jr’s mentors including Reese Bricken who leads the ministry “Adventures of the Heart” of which Linus Jr is a part. We stayed late into the evening basking in the warmth of the campfire and the meaningfulness and depth of the sharing.
Saturday was the rehearsal followed by dinner and then a time of sharing. The groomsmen from the night before were joined by the bridal party, and family members of both the groom and bride. As the sharing proceeded about how Linus and Dani met and their relationship developed there was lots of laughter and tears.
Sharon and I presented Linus and Dani with the silver chalice given to us on our 25th wedding anniversary. They used it during their wedding to celebrate communion together as an act of their faith in and appreciation of the sacrifice of Christ for them. I don’t know what overcame me but I even risked singing a song of tribute to Linus and Dani and their wedding. Fortunately, my granddaughter London backed me up.
Sunday was the wedding itself. It was scheduled to be held outside but the rain poured down all morning. The decision was made to move it inside the barn (our back up plan) and fortunately the rain stopped just prior to the arrival of the wedding guests. Just before the ceremony was to begin, Linus jr gathered his groomsmen and me (I officiated the wedding) behind the tent where dinner would later be served. He gave each of his groomsmen a gift…a buck knife. He gave one to me too and said, “Dad, look what is engraved on the blade.”
During wedding itself, I had the best view in the house (actually a barn). I was able to tell their story of meeting, the qualities that attracted them to each other, and what they hope for their marriage. Here is some of what they said:
Linus of Dani: “I was attracted to her loving spirit. She was compassionate, vulnerable, feminine, attracting and caring. More than all this, she loved God.”
Dani of Linus: “I was impressed with his leadership and trustworthiness. He is interested in others. He wanted a relationship with my family and friends, not just me. He treats me with kindness, compassion, and patience as well.”
Linus and Dani of their marriage: “We want our marriage to help and encourage others. Christ is the center of our lives and marriage together. We know that marriage is a divine conspiracy for our transformation. We will fight for each other and fight for our marriage. We want to help each other become more and more healthy so we can love each other better and be a force of good for Christ and others.”
THE SECOND MRS. LINUS MORRIS
Following the message, It was my incredible privilege to pronounce Linus and Danielle husband and wife and introduce them as Mr. and Mrs. Linus Morris. There were lots of interesting side stories and that was one of them: two Mrs. Linus Morrises, one name Sharon and the other named Danielle.
Another side story was the fact that Danielle’s father has known Linus Jr since he was 10-years-old. Pierre was a member of the summer short-term team that helped us launch the Crossroads Amsterdam. When we moved our family to Amsterdam, Pierre helped us move into our house. Shaking his head in amazement, he says, “I never dreamed that this 10-year-old kid running around would one day be my son-in-law.
We couldn’t be more pleased to have Dani as our daughter-in-law and to be even more closely connected to her family as her mom and dad, Cari and Pierre, have long been friends of ours. We are excited about what God has ahead for Linus and Dani. Their wedding was three days of incredible joy for all of us who were a part.