It is a measure of a life that the world changes for the better. It is the ultimate measure, because we all are contributors to that better world. That brings a certain responsibility; A very certain one. By that standard, what have each of us contributed to a world better than the one we arrived to find? There is your question. There is the summation we all must make before God, before eternity, and within our own hearts.
Like each of us, my summation to that eternity is ever-changing. I struggle within my own heart, and struggle deeply. But I understand the storms in my heart do indeed resonate in the world, just as love resonates and resonates strongest of all. And so when defining what it is I want in the world most often I reply justice, knowing full well that there is no justice in the world without love.
Last night, in a warm and peaceful ceremony at the Starved Rock lodge Ana and I joined to celebrate the marriage of two dear friends, Henry and Lindsay. surrounded by the autumn woods painted among the deep canyons of the park, carved by the ages and the mighty Illinois River adjacent. An autumn wind raged outside the tall windows of the lodge, pushing showers of golden and umber leaves against the windows, symbolic of our own lives pushed and pulled by the winds of the world.
It begs that we all must rely on one another, and that among the winds of the world we are small in the aggregate, but large among one another. We are large among one another because the world is so much bigger and formidable. We are large when we define ourselves by love, when we connect to one another through that power. We are large when we seek justice in the world, the proper justice only love can bring.
There is justice in the world. It comes, but it does not come by itself. Like a fine dish, or a good wine or a providing garden, it must be coaxed and nurtured and cared for. It must be defended to realize that fuller and better potential. It must improve what was there before: a lifeless patch of ground, a bushel of grapes or un-realized spices. At times it must be fought for, by standing firm against the forces eschewing love and justice.
Henry and Lindsay were married with a simple few words and a symbolic kiss. But there is a history in that kiss, far beyond the two of them, one that speaks to that better world, and for those precious moments in that softly lit lodge, among their family and friends, I was moved to have been a part of it.