A few years ago when this song was first introduced to me, I was obsessed with it. I even had my sister and friends sing it at our wedding on a little hill in Tiburon overlooking the Golden Gate Bridge and the city of San Francisco. I’m listening to it now on Pandora as I’m waiting for my husband to come home for dinner- a small bowl of pureed parsnip (I wanted to try out a recipe with a free parsnip the irie farmer slipped into my bag of Jerusalem artichokes), bulgogi, mung bean pancakes from the market, and a sliver of leftover steak waiting in the warmed oven.
This song reminds me of a vision I had over three years ago at a wedding in Arizona. It was my husband’s close friend’s wedding, and I was wary as usual of T.’s friends and parties just because I can get terribly shy and uncomfortable. After lunch, we had gone back to our hotel room to change. T. had his groomsman duties to attend to which meant I was left alone. I lay down on the bed to take my afternoon nap, and “God He Reigns” kept repeating over and over in my head. As I sang along, I felt strength and comfort. I began to pray, and I saw a high hill of long yellow grass underneath an expanse of sky filled with light, where T.’s friends were gathered. They were standing apart from one another and facing the same direction. The song was playing, and the music pierced the open air– some friends stood with heads slightly bowed, others lifted their heads with tears in their eyes and reverence for God. They were worshiping Him for the first time, and they were in complete awe. The expressions on their faces were that of open adoration and a realization that they were completely known and loved. It was more real than the expressions we wear everyday for the world. I had never seen them so vulnerable, and I loved them at that moment, wanting the world for them.
I took this as a sign to have this song at our wedding. And it was glorious… I was standing next to T. staring out at the water and sky, completely humbled and overwhelmed by His presence and love. My heart never felt so full and complete. A pastor once said that marriage is heaven on earth, Eden found. And that’s what it felt like at that moment– the two of us standing before God and with our family and friends behind us, rooting for us, in a garden of perfection.