I was the first female Best Man I had ever heard of when my only brother got married. At the rehearsal dinner, with red carnations on the table and water rippling outside the window, he slipped me his gift. I opened it on my lap, where it fought for space with my oversized napkin. The looking down hid my teary eyes. My husband squeezed my knee.
It was a simple silver locket with a butterfly etched on front. Inside was a black and white photograph of us together, all bad haircuts and goofy grins.
“That’s his favorite,” his fiancee said from across the table as she looked on.
“It’s a great one of us,” I exhaled.
“No, that’s his favorite picture.”
My heart lurched back in time to the day he had dropped the A-bomb.
“I don’t believe in God, and I never have,” read his email declaration.
Alone in my office, my heart exploded onto every surface. I kicked off my pumps and buried my head into the crux of my dry-clean-only arm. From the hall my boss’ voice asked, “Has someone died?”
How can he be an atheist and I never want to speak to him again and I want to grab him and hold him and force-love him until he wrangles free. How can his genius mind be so dense and his overgrown heart be so cold and how do I just trust the Lord with his soul when his whole life I’ve been his Big Sister?
I clipped the chain around my neck and ran my finger over the locket. Did he pick this out himself? Did he have any idea that the butterfly represents the hope of resurrection from the dead? Jesus Christ raised in glory?
There are no happy accidents.
Did his thick fingers curl tight to lay our photograph inside this shared cocoon? Does he see that this beauty can only be enjoyed when it’s split wide open?
I stayed up until 4:00 a.m. to write my speech.
I vowed to love him. And trust Him.
I will bear witness.
*Inspiration sparked by the Monday writing prompts so generously provided by Amber Haines of www.therunamuck.com.