I didn’t expect to cry, really I didn’t, but I did. Just before we headed out to Keeke’s wedding Angela, who was in the service with me, went and found Kleenex just in case she got teary. I, of course, knew I wouldn’t need any – I don’t cry at weddings.
But then I did.
I’ve done a lot of weddings, but Keeke’s was the first for someone who I think of as one of my own daughters (she’s even tried on Kim’s wedding dress with the girls). That made me emotional. Keeke’s dad, Tommy, died last year which brought back memories of my own dad’s death prior to my sister’s weddings. That made me emotional. Leading in worship with me (in addition to Angela) were some of my favorite people in the world (Brian Mann and Ben and Jenna Kuykendall) and that made me emotional.
So right before I got to the vows – I started to cry (or at least was too choked up to speak).
I paused, took a few deep breaths and made it through the rest of the service all the way through the “I now pronounce you…,” “you may kiss….” and “may I introduce Mr. and Mrs….” but I was always right on the edge of tears.
And I decided that crying at weddings (or anywhere) is a good thing. As Jenna reminded me afterwards, it showed to everyone present that I actually do have a heart!
Now I’m not a big fan of crying preachers – and I know some who can cry on cue at the same moment in every message. But I am a big fan of letting what is inside you show. I’ve shared before (maybe too often) one of my very favorite thoughts on preaching is from Robert Frost:
No tears in the writer, no tears in the reader.
No surprise in the writer, no surprise in the reader.
The point is we can only authentically and effectively share what is inside us. This weekend I was reminded that we shouldn’t try to keep it all inside and it’s good to cry at weddings!