Bezalel is a name that’s not that well known, even among Christians. Bezalel was the architect of the tent of meeting built during the wilderness wanderings. He designed and oversaw the construction of the tabernacle and Ex 35-40 gives us tons of details about this project, from the mandate to make ‘artistic designs for work in gold, silver and bronze, to cut and set stones, to work in wood and to engage in all kinds of craftmanship’ (Ex 35:34) to the altars of incense and burnt offering constructed (Ex 37-38) to the priestly garments to be worn (Ex 39). Bezalel and Oholiab and their team of visionaries and skilled workmen created a tabernacle which enabled God’s people to respond adequately to the salvation and revelation they had experienced in their deliverance from Egypt.
Attention to detail has been a key feature of the wedding preparations which have been ongoing now for months and which finally were seen by us all on Friday. I have seen modern-day Bezalels working patiently and painstakingly to create things of beauty. The wedding cake was a triumph in detail. From a photograph of the couple sent in advance, the cake maker (Lisa of Crossgates Cakes) made icing figures of the bride and groom, complete with camera around her neck and earrings in her ears, with glasses and beard coloured exactly to match the photo. The grand piano was made with painstaking detail and the icing figure of the groom positioned perfectly with hands on the keys and foot on the pedal.
Similarly, Ruth Coombs laboured (or played, depending on one’s perspective!) over flower arrangements, making the bouquet for the bride and corsages for bridesmaids and mothers that combined Stacey’s favourite flowers and colours, with tiny details such as silver initials and glittery pins that added sparkle. These details were incorporated into the flower arch at church and the flower arrangements throughout the building. Stephen’s comment was ‘every time I look at them, I notice more details.’ Few people will have had the time to stand and take in all the details, but to an artist, that doesn’t matter. The attention to detail they give is part of their offering, seen by God even if unnoticed by people.
Each person brought their own talents and vision. Julie Stead’s nimble fingers worked on folding napkins into lilypads. If you think that’s easy, you should have seen my attempts at doing exactly the same thing! Ruth Pettitt nudged us all in the right direction for hanging pompoms and hearts and worked tirelessly on sewing the backdrop which was in place for one day only. Claire and her husband from Chappell2Venues tied bows over chair covers to create this stunning visual effect, providing a ‘wishing well’ for cards and sweet trolley which added those finishing touches which people remember long after things are cleared away.
Then there was the musical guest book – an innovative idea from Stacey which nonetheless required precision and accuracy to satisfy the musicians among us. Thanks go to India Walker for carefully cutting out the treble clefs to size and to Stephen, not only for writing the music, but for measuring everything out and making sure it all made sense. Stacey, not a musician, said at one point, ‘It doesn’t have to be perfect’, at which point all the musicians in the household nearly exploded! Artists really do care about the fine detail, even when we wished Stephen had written the song in C major, not F major, so that we did not have to cut out all the B flat signs on the board!
Many may think such details are trivial and unimportant. If God reckoned that the construction of the tabernacle deserved these five chapters in Exodus, however, we didn’t mind the time and effort spent on creating a day to remember and thank all those who helped in every way, from the most artistic to the most mundane, for every single detail was needed and valued.