The roses at my local-preferred flower shop, Florateria on des Pins in Montreal, are magnificent and fittingly they have names to inspire the imagination. “Engagement” did that for me. It brought to mind the time, 19 years ago, when I had entered into an engagement for life together with Carol Bernard. Such good memories of being on the edge of a permanent life change and enjoying every anticipatory moment. I had to buy the rose – it had singular beauty, one was the only appropriate number, five or a dozen would only diminish the glory.
In the months between the day when Carol accepted my proposal and the the day we married we searched out and found a home that will most likely be the only place we will ever need to call home. We didn’t know just how perfectly it would fit with our future lives. I knew at the moment that I carried our first Christmas tree two blocks home from the supermarket that I would enjoy bringing my country ways home to our condo in the city.
Our engagement to each other has, from our very first moments together, always included the engagement to a joint “projet de société” of being in, about and all through a gospel choir. As friends, we began Jireh together out of being brought together in Union United Church Gospel Choir. The years added River’s Edge Gospel Choir and then Montreal Gospel Choir. This Sunday, that last choir and its’ 90-some singers will be blowing the lid off of the church that Carol and I call home. We didn’t imagine something big like that when we began our life together but with God life has been ordered, blessed and the kind of thing you could describe in the most positive words the prophet Jeremiah can muster, “a future and a purpose”.