My brother got married a few weeks ago. As his best man, I had the best seat (or standing-room) in the house.
It turned out beautiful. I’m so proud of them. I relate to people who dive into something over their heads and overcome anyway.
I watched the couple plan this wedding from start to finish. Brides dream of their wedding day from childhood, it seems. My sister-in-law has a type-A personality like I do, so I like to tease her about her three-inch-thick binder, which contained every piece of information that made the wedding a seamless one.
The tables. The chairs. The music. The symbolic unity sand the bride and groom chose to pour together—and the vase they would pour it into. Then we had the colors—of flowers, of ribbons, of tablecloths, and the list goes on.
But the detail I remember most can’t be found in my sister-in-law’s binder. (And I reiterate, three inches thick!) It wasn’t their spontaneous re-enactment of the climactic Dirty Dancing scene as “I’ve Had the Time of My Life” played during the reception.
You see, something happened during the ceremony … during the vows.
My brother choked up with emotion.
I’ll apologize to him right now for embarrassing him here. But you should know this: He never shows emotion in public. But as he spoke his vows, he fought tears. And it proved contagious, because as his bride peered deeply into his eyes, something unspoken existed between them—and she fought back tears in response.
In that moment, the preliminaries didn’t matter. Instead, it boiled down to the bare essentials: He loves his lady. He chose to commit to her for life. He wants to awaken to her eyes each morning.
In each other’s eyes, they found the simplicity of each other’s heart. And emotion welled up in response.
Simplicity of the heart. It’s part of the essence that makes us human.
And it’s this simplicity that causes us—or me, at least—to choke up with emotion as we read a novel. It’s not so much the action, but the heart expression that reverberates underneath.
The simplicity of a father’s love drives him to risk his life for his son. The simplicity of one’s love for another can manifest in a touch that speaks volumes.
Recently I finished reading The Death and Life of Charlie St. Cloud by Ben Sherwood. In a pivotal scene (no spoilers here!), Charlie must make a choice: Hold on to the memory of his brother or move forward in life by trying to rescue Tess. The angst of a man torn between past and future—between two kinds of love—tugged at my heart and almost brought tears to my eyes.
We haven’t always experienced the characters’ circumstances, but we’ve experienced those core emotions. It’s the simplicity of those emotions that enables us to relate to the characters—and to each other.
Hope this helps. Never give up!