Thank you. My name is Andy Meyer and – if you couldn’t see the family resemblance – I’m Jim’s younger brother. I am also very happy to be here today as his best man. It’s been really wonderful seeing so many great people together in one place to celebrate this marriage and I want to thank all the people that have made this possible – especially Donn and Sally Engebretson.
Like I said, I’m Jim’s brother. As brothers, we’ve been pretty close and had a lot of shared experiences and quite a few common interests. We grew up together in Grand Rapids, attended the same church and high school, and then we moved to Chicago together to attend college at North Park. We graduated and stayed in Chicago, usually living near each other and, for some time, actually shared an apartment together. So we’ve shared a lot of life together.
Another thing that Jim and I have shared over the years is a keen interest in technology and the internet. I work in the library at North Park and Jim works in the information technology department and we sometimes joke that a lot of problems could be solved if people just googled their question.
So when I was faced with writing a speech for tonight, I approached this problem like a lot of other problems: I googled it. And, really, google did not disappoint. I read a great article from wikihow entitled “How to write a best man speech” another one from the Art of Manliness called “How to write and deliver a great best man speech” and, my personal favorite, one called “How to give a best man toast that doesn’t suck.”
And, really, these websites offered a lot of great advice!
They said that it’s probably good to start with a funny story or a joke. However – these same websites also said to avoid the following topics: any arrests or prison time, ex-girlfriends, wild drunken nights, and anything that might be insulting the bride. And I thought – wow, that really limits the material I have to work with!
I’m glad that joke worked out so well – I have a few others planned as back-ups, but that was my best attempt.
After telling a joke to break the formality, the websites instructed me to tell a touching story that would focus on Jim’s strengths. So I of course started thinking – when has Jim ever done something heroic or amazing that would make for a great story? I thought to myself – I guess Jim has gone on mission trips, he teaches Sunday School, he volunteers with the church youth group… but why hasn’t he rescued any kittens or puppies? And, to the best of my knowledge, he has never saved anyone from a burning building.
And that’s the problem with Jim – he is a good guy in all of the least glamorous ways. And the story I’m about to tell fits that model perfectly. Years ago, I thought it would be a good idea to try riding my bike all winter. So one “warm” February day – I biked down to my job at the University of Chicago. Or course, I neglected to check the weather report for the rest of the day. So when my shift ended at 9pm, I was alarmed to see that it had started sleeting. The weather was miserable – it was dark, cold, wet, and I was stuck a long ways from home. Not knowing what else to do, I called my brother to explain the predicament I had created for myself and to plead for a ride back home.
And Jim said something like “sure, I’ll be right down.” Now but then it’s well after 9pm, the weather is pretty bad and getting worse, and it’s a 45 minute drive each way. I don’t know what Jim was doing or what he was planning on doing – but he drove down to pick me up out of that mess.
And that’s the strength that I want to share with you all today and especially with you, Kristen: that Jim will be there for you. No questions asked. No explanations needed. I’ve certainly experienced that as his brother. And I’m sure you’ve already experienced this in your relationship with Jim. It’s my hope and prayer that you both continue to experience faithful and steadfast love that always seeks the best for the other.
So now you all know that I think Jim is a great guy.
And I want to be equally clear in saying that I think you are a great woman, Kristen. We, of course, didn’t grow up together and we haven’t shared life as siblings, but I still know a bit about how great you are. I know you’re great, in part, because of how great your friends and family are. It has been wonderful to get to know them and look forward to growing in those relationship. Another reason I know how great you are is because Jim tells me. All the time, in fact. But this isn’t just second-hand news or rumor – I know it firsthand as well. It’s been wonderful getting to know you and wonderful celebrating here with you. I could not be happier for you and Jim.
Now that I’ve finished the touching stories, I’m free to conclude with a toast to the couple. So, please raise your glasses with me: Jim and Kristen, may you always remember this moment – surrounded by friends and family that love and support you – and may God bless you with a lifetime of joy and love.