A few weeks ago, our minister shared a sermon he titled Be a Goldfish. He included video from the Ted Lasso show. It was unique. I learned something. Who knew goldfish have memory issues? Why had I never heard of Ted Lasso? It triggered vivid memories of what releasing grudges can do.
My mind went back 35 years to Frochheim, Germany. Home to a beautiful young woman our son was marrying there.
It was 1987. WWII had ended 42 years earlier. Many who had experienced that war were still alive. Memories still vivid. Many friends and family from the UK and USA attended the wedding.
The wedding service was in German. Our son did not understand a word. He trusted his new German family.
On arrival the luncheon was tense. Several of the bride’s guests arrived wearing German officer’s uniforms. British guests wore Union Jack lapel pins. Some still had hidden and obvious battle scars.
The bride’s father who, himself, had been conscripted into Hitler's Youth Army, stood for his welcome toast. Fluent in English, he delivered his welcome in both languages. Remembering still gives me chills.
He began: Welcome friends. Forty-two years ago, many of us in this room were enemies. TODAY, we gather in and because of LOVE.
The tension eased. Guests smiled. They shook hands. Shared Stories. They danced together. Grudges and hostilities were set aside. We were reminded our greatest need is love.
Today, 35 years later many wedding guests are still friends. The bride and groom are still happy.
Hopefully never a Goldfish 10-second memory. Memories are what sustain us, the more the better. Grudges are different. The fewer we carry, the lighter the load.
Here's to happy, safe, and unencumbered travels in this still new year, and beyond.
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