Where were you when there was a shift in the world?
That happened yesterday, on Friday morning for me in Atlanta, when my world shifted…my world - as I had known it - changed.
Linda and I met the first day of seminary in August, 1988 at Candler School of Theology at Emory University. I fell head over heals in love for the first time in my life. And she has been and continues to be my life partner. We met on the first day of seminary. My hope for love and being loved; my understanding of God, and God's love for me...broke wide-open on that first day...and has been true, now for the rest of my life...
…and yesterday the world shifted. For once and forever…the world shifted.
In a 5-4 vote the Supreme Court of the USA said that Linda and I existed, not only that, they said that our commitment to one another matter. Justice Kennedy wrote:
No union is more profound than marriage for it embodies the highest ideals of love, fidelity,sacrifice, devotion, family and love...The judgement of the Court of Appeals for the Sixth Circuit is reversed. It is so ordered.
I’m a simple girl with simple notions of the world. My world. We get up everyday and we do our best…and the world continues to turn…and we continue in it.
And yesterday – I cried all day long. All day. For little things and big things, I cried. I cried for Justice Kennedy’s words and truly, truly what they meant to me. To the essence of me. His words spoke to me and to my family. I cried most for his last line: "It is so ordered."
Linda and I met. We fell in love.
We made a commitment in front of family and friends on November 1, 1991 that we would love and cherish one another. We bought a house. We live now in our second house. We talked with our friend, John about having a family. And now we are John and Rande – having a family. We welcomed John Brogan on September 27, 1998 and then Samuel Clark on November 11, 2001. We – the six of us are raising a family. With an amazing, generous, life-giving village.
And on June 26, 2015 the Supreme Court said that it was good. And fine. And within our rights as citizens here in our country – and in our families and in our community. It is good and fine. And it is ordered. The law of the land.
Next week we are going up to Illinois to our Hashbarger-Brogan family reunion and on Thursday, at 1:00 pm CST in my cousin Jill's living room, Linda and I will legally be married. My Uncle Jim and cousin, Mary Fran and Gamma will speak the prayers and read the scripture (Romans 12 read back in 1991 at our commitment service) – and when we come back to our driveway, here in Decatur, GA – we will be married.
How amazing – how blessed – how thankful am I, are we.
I wish Bill Mallard were alive to see it. He helped us “come on” all through seminary and now we are doing that very thing. I wish my parents were alive to see it. They were there with us at our service in 1991. I wish, Linda’s Dad were here to dance with his daughter…I wish…
And my heart is full and grateful. It IS Amazing Grace after all. Thanks be to God.
Working in Family Experience at Children's Healthcare of Atlanta, Lesley is an ordained minister in the United Church of Christ. A Candler School of Theology graduate, Lesley has just published her second book, Grief and the Psalms: Companioning the Moon for 29 Days (available on this website). She and her partner, Linda Ellis are raising their two sons, Brogan and Sam in Decatur, GA.