In a city that is so crowded that it has the paradoxical effect of making anyone feel alone, this weekend I felt an opposite force.
I attended the most beautiful wedding I have seen in a long time. I admit that every wedding since my own has been a tearjerker. Even the beach wedding of two strangers that we watched from our honeymoon balcony.
But this was different.
This was truly a wedding of two families -- one Indian and one Hispanic -- who loved each other's culture, religion, and person so much that when my friends were declared husband and wife, you could feel the families joined too. It was so moving and an experience I had never felt before, even at my own wedding.
We all forget the speeches at many weddings. But this one rang so true that I don't think I'll ever forget it.
The imam said:
Many times in life we will find ourselves busy. We may seem busy to others because we're doing a lot. Growing, graduating, working, doing. But that's life on the surface. And then what? All actions are useless without their intentions. Without the spirit of prayer, the prayer just becomes a sequences of motions. Without spirit, fasting becomes an annoying hunger. And marriage is just a daily reminder that you're tied to someone, if there's no spirit to make it something more. The challenge with marriage is that the spirit and intentions of one cannot grow without the other.
(How true that if only one of the two does not have the spirit, there's no way the other can make up for it. It's whole of two parts. A blessing and a curse!)
In every way his pointer is true in all things not marriage. Sometimes I think the city drains the spirit of actions out of me. Some things I do just to make it through - in work. In life. In my relationships.
I needed my friends this weekend to remind me about what is important in life. Not another story. Not another deadline. Not another need to justify myself to anyone. But the spirit of being around people who love each other through faith and culture, through the spirit of humanity