Flash of Silver…the leap that changed my world
Rite of Passage Eight –A Taste of Things to Come–
(1951 to 1953) Age 17-19
Q: A vow: There are very few opportunities to make a vow before God in a religious ceremony. Do you think it might actually make a difference from other ‘legal’ promises?
Treena and I married in St. Mildred’s Anglican Church in Tenterden, Kent UK on September 22, 1955.
We stood side by side in this 9th Century Church and repeated our vows in the same honored fashion, nothing added –just the plain vows made before…God!
I wondered at the time if it made any difference –would we have a happier life together because we made promises to each other in front of God?
Neither of us were religious or had any relative who was, so it was only by casual observation that we had any idea how people of faith behaved…those we saw, in passing, seemed to be like anyone else; maybe quieter…more sober?
I had made some kind of pledge when joining the British army that had included Godandcountry in one elongated word but that was what was required of me, so I said it!
This was different and it felt different. We had chosen a Church wedding and felt that saying words before God might be a good idea.
So…what about now?
Words spoken can come back to haunt us, the ones we often regret. In this case the words we spoke came back to bless us; we were so glad that we said them and that somehow we had recognized that God just might be listening.
Later, in 1994, we returned to St. Mildred’s and all alone in that small stone church, we repeated our vows –this time with our new faith adding full meaning to the same words.
Do I believe that vows made are different when God is included? Well yes, I do. There is something very, very serious, for example; when we are asking to lay our hand on the Bible and tell the whole truth and nothing but the truth, there are legal consequences if we tell a lie and maybe other less obvious results.
In the same way, when the President vows to protect and defend the constitution of the United States and uses the Bible to recognize that the vow is before God, then there are global consequences if he or she fails to do so.
I don’t see obedience to the keeping of a vow as a kind of self-protection from a dire consequence; I see it more as an outward declaration of the need to recognize God as our Supreme Authority who has our best outcome at heart.
I’m so very glad we said our vows and had almost sixty years in which to honor them…we were blessed.
P.S This week I read Treena’s poem a perfect friend