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Waits and Rights

Waits and Rights

With June half gone and virtually all weddings postponed, the tears are different. Gentle weeping from the emotions of the music and the moment become full-fledged sobbing of frustration and disappointment. Grand plans long awaited to be lived are not. 

I’ve officiated many weddings. (Yes, she with a long history of doing divorces.) The words of love, the witnessing of commitment, the cutting of the cake and the hugging of cousins fill our hearts. A good number of the would-be wedding couples will not be denied these glorious moments. Instead, they are placed on pause. Along with the sadness could also come a continued anticipation and a deepening of the meaning of the day. 

Today marks the anniversary of a landmark ruling on one wedding many Americans know nothing about. In 1967, the United States Supreme Court ended the ban on interracial marriage in the case of Loving vs. Virgina. NPR summarized the couple’s experience: 

Five weeks after the Lovings’ wedding on July 14, cops led by the sheriff stormed into their house at 2 in the morning. The young couple was arrested and jailed for violating the state’s “Racial Integrity Act.” The Lovings were sentenced to a year in prison, but a judge set them free under the condition they leave Virginia. 

The attorney for the Lovings argued: 

“(It) is the right of Richard and Mildred Loving to wake up in the morning or to go to sleep at night knowing that the sheriff will not be knocking on their door or shining a light in their face in the privacy of their bedroom for illicit co-habitation.” 

As I sit in impatience for the parties of my own privileged life partially postponed, the starkness of the contrast of what it means to wait is piercing. Just two months ago, shortly after midnight, police used a battering ram to crash into the apartment of an African American emergency room technician just after midnight. They fired shots repeatedly. Breonna Taylor was left dead at 26. 

We all have our waiting. Some call for action.  Others for calm and courts. All call for compassion. 

May yours end soon. May your wait be safe. 

Coach Koenig 

What’s hardest about your wait right now? 

Can you hold compassion, commitment, and perspective? 

How will you keep yourself safe in all ways as you wait?