It was a small wedding, celebrating the union of a sweet couple who had known their share of challenges and the hard realities of life. Frankly, of all the things I do as a pastor, weddings are one of my favorites. This was a small, intimate wedding, populated by supportive family and friends. It was an honor to witness the vows that would guide their life together.
The most remarkable moment, however, came after the service was over. The wedding party had exited out the middle aisle and was in the process of re-gathering for photos when an older couple approached me. The man had a definite twinkle in the eye, and both of them had the bearing of one whose very presence was inviting.
After they introduced themselves, I asked, “Are you members of one of the families, or are you friends of the couple?” As it turns out, they were friends. He was a retired United Methodist pastor from Tulsa.
“We met this couple one day when we were stranded on the side of the road,” the man explained. “We had spent two hours trying to contact emergency roadside assistance, and still no answer. Finally, these kind people pulled over and offered help changing our tire. We got to know each other. We talked about our lives and families. We were so grateful for their help, and we were sure that God had sent them to us. Since then, we have kept in touch, and that’s why we came here from Tulsa today – to share in their special day.”
Long after that conversation I find myself still reflecting on the serendipitous way in which God guides people into our lives. For instance, there was the whole string of events necessary for that happy couple to meet; and then an unlikely friendship forged on the side of a road somewhere in Oklahoma. Someone has defined “coincidence” as those times when God acts but chooses not to leave a calling card. This, I thought, was one of those times.
There is an interesting word in the Bible, translated it means “working,” as in “God working in us.” It is the same word from which we derive the word “choreography.” Think of it: God as the Grand Choreographer, placing people in our lives in the most amazing way, whether or not we find a calling card.
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