Thursday, May 10, 2012

Ian & Larissa

I watched this short documentary a few days ago and I’ve been sleepless long stretches of the nights since then.....  just thinking over this. incredible. beauty.  


This is rare, full of splendor and glory kind of love.  I cannot recommend it highly enough.  And I think John Piper’s words about this couple, this video are crucial:  

“Desiring God exists to help people everywhere understand and embrace the truth that God is most glorified in us when we are most satisfied in him. And I would add, especially in suffering.
Being satisfied in God (or anything) always seems easier when all is going well. But when things you love are being stripped out of your hands, then the test is real. If God remains precious in those moments, then his supreme worth shines more brightly. He is most glorified...
I tremble with the glad responsibility of introducing you to Ian & Larissa Murphy in this video. Tremble, because it is their story and so personal. So delicate. So easily abused. So unfinished. Glad, because Christ is exalted over all things.”

At the wedding, their pastor, Mark Altrogge, read this quote from the book Momentary Marriage, by John Piper:

Marriage is not mainly about prospering economically; it is mainly about displaying the covenant-keeping love between Christ and his church. Knowing Christ is more important than making a living. Treasuring Christ is more important than bearing children. Being united to Christ by faith is a greater source of material success than perfect sex and double-income prosperity.
So it is with marriage. It is a momentary gift. It may last a lifetime, or it may be snatched away on the honeymoon. Either way, it is short. It may have many bright days, or it may be covered with clouds. If we make secondary things primary, we will be embittered at the sorrows we must face. But if we set our face to make of marriage mainly what God designed it to be, no sorrows and no calamities can stand in our way. Every one of them will be, not an obstacle to success, but a way to succeed. The beauty of the covenant-keeping love between Christ and his church shines brightest when nothing but Christ can sustain it.
Altrogge wrote about the beauty of this couple's love as a covenant keeping love.... but what is astonishing to me is that they demonstrate faithfulness to a covenant not yet made, a covenant intended.  That is what makes me weep and stare at the ceiling all night long.  And that this is only a glimer of all the faithfulness and ardour and undeservedness of the love of God for us?  I am Trembling In Awe.

And one note from me:  When we first watched, I got the idea that Ian has less abilities than he really does.  Since falling in love with this couple and being up too long thinking of them, I’ve found their blog (  and wedding pictures (every cute magazine would be jealous, this was beyond pintrest’s best), and it seems to me that this wonderful Desiring God video perhaps doesn’t do justice to Ian’s progress and healing so far.  He wrote his own wedding vows.  He’s limited greatly from his accident, but he’s more able to express things than I understood from the video.   One of the latest prayer requests from Ian is that he would be able to walk again.  
Larissa has written a follow-up post “Why We Got Married” too, if your interested.    She wrote: 

Even though we chose marriage, we chose it sadly....   

We know that we have made a covenant to each other, just as Christ made to the church. The church that He made that covenant with is so imperfect, and sorrowful, and disabled. Just like our marriage. This church, and this marriage, are hemmed in by Jesus and eagerly long for heaven.

And more on this topic, from her post on Jan 18, 2010, as they counted down to their wedding day, 

... why get married? Well, as simple as it is, because we love each other. And we enjoy each other. And we believe that Ian was created to be my husband and me to be his helper. Our marriage will look way different than we imagined four years ago. But it must mean something that I can't look at Ian without smiling. And that he has struggled every day for three years to get better- for me.

I echo what their photographer wrote about this being one of the most beautiful testimonies of love the world has ever seen. 

Ian and Larissa, your love sparks me worship God.  
May the Lord be your great strength, Larissa, 
your continued Healer, Ian, 
and may your lives together be filled with the exceeding joy of no regrets and lavishly  beautiful love.  
May your joy be rooted solid in the living hope of what is yours only in part now... but will echo whole for all eternity in Christ.  

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