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Previous Challenge Entry (Level 3 – Advanced)
Topic: Winter (11/14/05)

TITLE: Holly and Scott
By Sally Hanan


The young couple stands at the altar - entranced by the ecstasy of true love. The bride, tall and regal in her white silk, gazes into her future husband’s eyes with a devotion many husbands have never seen again…

Pastor Jeff clears his throat to continue the wedding sermon, “And now, Scott and Holly, I’d like to show you something.” His eyes sweep over the crowd questioningly.

“Would those married more than fifty years, please stand.” The pastor, married almost that long himself, murmurs a silent blessing on the five couples that get to their feet. Some hold onto the chair in front for an extra leg up, others lean on their partners. A cane here, an overweight body there, a crown of gray hair on many: each man holds hands with his beloved.

“Congratulations.” Applause spills into the quietness and then retreats.

“If those of you standing have ever had rough times together, raise your hand.” Ten wedding bands flutter in the air. A grin of understanding passes between my husband and I.

“During any of those trials in your marriage, have you ever thought of quitting?” All but one couple raise their hands. I reach over to rest a hand on my husband’s knee.

“Scott and Holly, take a look at what you see here.” The two lovebirds smile in blessed innocence at the few standing. “In your marriage there will come hard times. There will be days you think about leaving and never looking back. There will be seasons of snow, big freezes,” (a husband or two grimace), “slush and icy roads. You may not believe me now, but when those winters come, remember this moment, and remember, as long as you both cling to the Lord, your winter will eventually pass; spring will come again.”

The five couples nod, trying to catch the bride's and bridegroom’s eyes, trying to sear the pastor’s words into their hearts. The two lovers look like the wisdom is flowing over them like water off an oilskin.

A few minutes later, the rapturous couple walks up the aisle to cheers and camera flashes, with their commitment sealed before God and each other. Many have tears in their eyes. My husband remarks sardonically in my ear,

“I’m not crying over what they’ve just done, I’m crying over what’s ahead of them,” his eyes dryer than an Arizona desert, but definitely crinkled at their corners. He throws an arm around me and I nestle into his embracing warmth.

Holly and Scott, I hope that maybe, one winter’s day, we’ll get to tell you our story.

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This article has been read 1238 times
Member Comments
Member Date
dub W11/22/05
Touching tribute and wishes, a couple of minor writing problems. Thanks for sharing.
Nina Phillips11/22/05
A good lesson. Thanks for the loving tribute and for sharing. God bless ya, littlelight
Julianne Jones11/24/05
"The two lovebirds smile in blessed innocence". How true! I would also love to hear 'your' story. Well done.
B Brenton11/24/05
How cute!
Ah, the fuzzy love stories.
You brought us into the picture quick enough for some enjoyment before being thrown out again.
But I don't care that it isn't long.
It's still awesome!
Brandi Roberts11/24/05
How sweet! I enjoyed this!
Shari Armstrong 11/24/05
A wonderful lesson -my Grandparents had 66 years together before Grandpa went home. He wisely said that too many people just stop trying and forgot about God in their lives/marriages.
Debbie Sickler11/25/05
The pastor offered wisdom to the young couple that many could use before entering into marriage. I liked the way you told the story, but I would have liked to have seen what relationship you and your husband were to Holly and Scott and would love to hear your story. Will that be a future story? Hope so! Good job!
Garnet Miller 11/25/05
What a touching story. All the winters we go through in marriage lead to a beautiful spring of blessings!
Marilyn Schnepp 11/25/05
First, let me say I thoroughly enjoyed this story! Never missed a beat - kept me entranced until the end. Excellent writing and I like the pastor's idea; baut I kept thinking he was going to continue asking couples to stand that had been together 40, 30, 20, etc; and they would dwindle; that would have been devestating! (knowing the divorce rate). A Great Read!
Jan Ackerson 11/26/05
Very sweet! A few minor edits for tense, and word choice in the first paragraph, and I'd recommend this for couples counseling for any pastor. Having a recently married daughter, this one really touched me.
Val Clark12/05/05
Very touching and kept me engaged the whole time. As one half of a couple who have faced very difficult times I marvel at the optimism at weddings and how soon, for many, that turns to disappointment and divorce. Great idea to do this at weddings.