In 1981, Prince Charles and Diana were engaged. There was an immediate press conference, full of wedding plans. Toward the end of the press conference, one journalist just couldn’t contain his excitement and blurted out, “You two must be so in love.” Diana gave a kind and polite (if a little embarrassed) smile. Prince Charles said, “I suppose so. Whatever ‘in love’ means.” Poor Diana.
You and I have similar callings: to protect, serve and provide for a community of people in a specific place and time, for better and for worse. That is: to love. Sometimes it’s difficult, but if we try, we can see our work, the committees and the legislation as expressions of love.
And we must do better than, “I suppose so. Whatever ‘in love’ means.” Our districts deserve better than Hallmark card love or Prince Charles love. They deserve the same real love that we live daily in our marriages and families and in the couples, spouses and partners that we see all around us. The kind of love that doesn’t eyes better options but does endures hard times.
To help us today, we could remember wedding vows that we made or hope to make some day. How well do they also describe our relationship with our people? As an example, I’ll read the wedding vows of the Episcopal Church with only a little alteration:
In the Name of God, I, [Senator N.], take you, [District 1, 2, 3…22, 23, 24], to be my spouse, to have and to hold from this day forward, for better for worse, for richer for poorer, in sickness and in health, to love and to cherish, until we are parted by death. This is my solemn vow.