"I want you to get swept away out there; I want you to levitate,
I want you to sing with rapture and dance like a dervish...
Love is passion...obsession. Something you can't live without.
There's no sense in making the journey without this".
Bill Parrish (played by Anthony Hopkins) in the movie, 'Meet Joe Black'.
I attended a family wedding on Friday, and had the privilege of taking the photographs of the occasion. It was an event which, in the small spaces between my busying myself with the camera, took me back to my own special day over 25 years ago - a day when I publicly affirmed the love that had drawn Kay and I to the point of wanting to so deeply become husband and wife.
The years which followed were often difficult, marked by a whole array of problems that most of us will face in life, but the love which had called for that union between us never wained or diminished, and was still present in the very last days of her life a few years ago.
I am still deeply part of her, and I still know the strength of those words in the song of songs -
'Many waters cannot quench love, neither the floods drown it. For your love is stronger than death'.
As Jesus faced trail, betrayal and a cruel death, He spent a short time with those who He had come to know so well - those who were His friends. He had desired to share that evening and a special meal with them, and in that context, He shared the true reasons behind His giving of His life - that we might know a fellowship with God and each other so strong that eternity is barely large enough to express this.
Stronger than our failures, stronger than our fears, stronger than death. There is a love that can enfold us amidst the darkest places, and lift us out to a living, enduring hope that will, without question, one day allow us to place our own feet once more upon a green earth, and look upon human faces transformed by that same love.
Sorting the wedding photos today and looking upon the joy of the newly weds, I know that the greatest wedding - the marriage of heaven and earth - is yet to come.