It was Sue and Mike’s first Sunday back in worship after their honeymoon. From the preacher’s chair I could see them in the fourth pew, unable to keep their hands off each other. We sang “Great Is Thy Faithfulness,” which we’d also sung at their wedding. They stood eagerly with the congregation as the hymn began, smiling at each other as if to say, “This is our song.”
At the other end of their pew sat a widow whose husband I’d buried just four weeks ago. This was also her first Sunday back in church, and it was the first time in 42 years that she had entered a pew alone. Two rows behind Mike and Sue sat a man and his teenage son. His ex-wife was attending another church with a man she’d married several months ago. Across the aisle was a woman who would soon be visiting her husband in the Alzheimer’s unit of a nearby nursing home.
It never occurred to our newlyweds that they were surrounded by the various options for how their marriage will end.