What is in a picture?

marine wedding

What we think is unusual or touching says a lot about us as a society. Sometimes the item of attention must be taken in context to fully appreciate it.

A few weeks ago, the media were abuzz with the obviously mentally unbalanced Bruce Jenner’s journey from man to mutilated-man. In a previous, more rational era, Jenner would have found gainful employment in carnival sideshow and that would have been the last we would have seen or heard of him. Now, in these immoral times which are striving to bill themselves as merely amoral, Jenner was billed as some kind of a turning point for society… in a way other than proving there is literally no level below which deviancy can’t be defined.

Today there is another story and image that has acquired “viral” status.

U.S. Marine Cpl. Caleb Earwood wanted to pray with his bride Maggie before their ceremony in Asheville, North Carolina, on Saturday. So with the help of their family and wedding photographer Dwayne Schmidt, Caleb was guided to the cabin where Maggie was getting ready for the service, where the couple joined hands around a corner so as not to break tradition and see each other before the altar.

“They hid me in a room and he stepped up on the stairwell and he stuck his hand out and I grabbed his hand,” Maggie Earwood told ABC News today.

“As soon as their hands touched he started getting emotional,” Schmidt told ABC News.

“The whole room was full of emotion,” Schmidt said. “I tried not to cry and focus on what I was doing.”

The resulting image shows the couple turned away from each other, their hands joined, as Caleb prays out loud and Maggie tries to hold back her tears. Caleb prayed for their marriage, asking that their union be strong enough to serve as an example for all young couples, Schmidt said.

What does it say about us that a picture of a young Marine and his bride praying together has become a sensation that has resulted in newspaper and television interviews on at least two continents? Shouldn’t this be the norm? Isn’t this what marriage is about (Anthony Kennedy, the staff of National Review and the battalion of alleged conservatives who signed the amicus brief in favor of destroying marriage don’t have to answer this)? One man and one woman, joined together before God, aspiring to be a role model to future generations on the goodness that is marriage? Does this reflect a longing in our national consciousness for a return to what our hearts and, if we are honest, our minds know is the right order of things? Or are Corporal and Maggie Earwood a sideshow attraction is a world gone totally insane?