(Written, as a speech, and delivered June 16th at my best friends wedding. Original – unedited)
…I’m Jason….. Justin and I have grown up together. We’ve gone to middle school, high school, and even college together – and remained friends through it all.
I’d like to thank Liz’s parents – for helping to put on this wonderful celebration of Justin and Liz and especially for raising such a beautiful, smart, ambitious and PATIENT woman.. Because let’s face it – Justin was a wild one! (In the best way) But seriously, it’s been great getting to know Liz and hear Justin boast about her, and spending time with the both of them.
I’d like to thank Justin’s parents, Mr. Brian and Ms. Carol – who have kind of become like a 2nd set of parents – having spent so much time over the years at their house and carpooling to school, and in Sunday school. You’ve instilled values in Justin that he has carried with him through his life. As our friends here can attest, Justin is a dependable, trustworthy, and loyal friend. Your parenting was undoubtedly a factor in that. And it’s why I know Justin is going to be a great companion and encourager of Liz in their marriage. You’ve done well!
I’d like to thank Liz’s beautiful friends and bridesmaids – you all look stunning today – Thank you for your support of Justin and Liz’s relationship. Especially in the early days, undoubtedly helping Liz to analyze Justin’s every action – or whatever it is you girls do to try and figure out if us guys like you. — Though Justin made it quite obvious his feelings for Liz on one of their first meetings – at the MD State Fair. Where at a photo opportunity, Justin grabbed a small plastic sword, held it up to Liz’s face, and did the pirate eye wink thing (see Facebook). Liz looked terrified – and rightly so. It was odd then, still is odd, but makes a little more sense now. Everything works out.
FORNICATION…… Sorry.. for an occasion… like this it seems only natural to include some apologies. First, Liz, I wanted to come clean about some things Justin has done – that I witnessed, and possibly encouraged. We won’t go too far into the past – just a few weekends ago. I know you were very insistent that Justin come back from his bachelor party / weeekend trip in 1 piece. Luckily, we were able to accomplish that for you.
But I still feel a little bit guilty about things that went on. While we were on a “camping trip”, we also made a few pit stops. One of those stops was to a place you, and several of our friends (Jeannie, Ashley, Steph, Kyle, Phil) are familiar with – Swallow Falls. As you’ll remember from a few years ago – we had that terrifying hill ice hiking experience – where we scaled the icy path along the raging freezing river. Luckily we all came away from safely. But apparently, we didn’t all learn our lessons. Well, Justin being the creative guy he is – was looking for the best photo angle he could find. And that, naturally, was a top the 55 foot waterfall. Of which, he scooted right to the slippery wet edge to get that “over the falls” shot. He’s fine, obviously, it’s no big deal. Just wanted to clear that up.
The other “incident” of the trip involved jet skiing. For those of us who have had the privilege of accompanying Justin in a motorized, or, well, really any moving object, may not find the following anecdote surprising. I believe Justin would admit to “stretching the legs” of his jet ski – taking it to the limit – or maybe beyond it limits. And that is how Justin ejected himself from his jet ski, flying through the air, and landing in the frigid 75 ft deep water of Deep Creek Lake. Again, Justin is intact – all is well.
Now for the other apology – this is for Justin. I would like to apologize, publicly, for the “noah’s ark” incident of 1999. A brief backstory (no pun intended there – ha, brief) for everyone. Justin and I went to a small Christian private middle school. At lunch we would always play outside. I had just gotten glasses – and I believe Justin made some comment about the “number of eyes I had” – that apparently got to me – so I proceeded to chase Justin around the playground. This chase brought us to a small boat shaped playground fort. Justin being nimble decided he would attempt to dive through one of the port holes. I lept and grabbed onto the only thing I could – his shorts. Unfortunately, Justin was really into elastic shorts. Well, Justin successfully made it through the port hole and into the boat – where the cute girls in our class were having a pow wow. Unfortunately, his shorts didn’t make it in. So there’s Justin, pantsless, in a circle of girls, in his, wait for it, tighty whities. If there’s 1 thing I know Justin has learned – and that I’d like for all the young men here to remember – it’s that you should never put your trust in elasticity – wear a belt.
Alright, I don’t want to wear out my welcome here. So Justin and Liz, I’m truly, absolutely happy for the both of you. You’re both great for each other – bringing out, and balancing, the best in each other. I would like to submit, though, that this wasn’t “fate” or even Justin or Liz, or even Laura the match maker. Something this great could have only come from someone who knows better than we do. As James 1:17 says, “every good and perfect gift is from above, coming down from the Father.” So my prayer for you two is that you’d both encourage each other in your marriage and your walk with the Lord – look to him when times get tough (they will) and remember all your friends and family here that love you. Here’s to Justin and Liz, may the memories you’ve made here today be but a foreshadow of the memories you’ll make in your adventures through life together! Cheers!!
Oh, don’t cry. I know it’s been an emotional day – even the cake is in tiers!