Finding Jesus on the Front Porch
by Jackie Hooks, as told to Cindy Lewis Dake
Lights twinkled along the gardenwall. Flickering lanterns quietly painted their glow on the family and friends gathered around the couple exchanging vows—for the second time, a renewal of vows spoken a decade before. Friends sat around the garden, shushing children on their laps. But for the three preschoolers whose parents stood before the minister, words of love and commitment were showered on them like blessings which would reap a harvest of joy for decades to come. There was an “I do” and then another, then a kiss, tears, applause, and then the celebration.
Yes, I’ll admit, it sounds a little cheesy to renew your vows. Take my word for it, my husband and I are anything but cheesy. But when we realized our tenth anniversary was coming up, it seemed like the right thing to do. The first time around, we hardly knew what those vows meant. We had been friends for years, fallen in love after college, and then lived together. But we had no idea what commitment and marriage meant. The first six years tested us, stretched us, pounded us—and almost broke us—until Jesus stepped in and made Himself known on the front porch. But I’m getting a little ahead of myself. Our relationship started long ago in a YMCA camp far, far away…