The month of June is known as the beginning of the hurricane season and the height of the wedding season (not that the two are necessarily related).
One wedding that I conducted, while not stormy, was nearly disunified.
The bride had already come down the aisle. The vows had begun. However, the wedding director was horrified, because the unity candle had not been prepared.
If you are not familiar with a unity candle, it is a candelabra with a large center candle and two smaller candles on each side. The custom is for the bride’s mother and groom’s mother to light each of the smaller candles before the service. After the bride and groom exchange vows and rings, they use the two small candles to light the large center candle, representing the coming together of two families to make one. The only problem was that the two smaller candles were not lit before the service began.
The wedding director had little time to decide what to do. Plan A would be to walk up to the candelabra, which was beside the minister, and say to the wedding party, “Excuse me, could you pause right there at ‘for better or worse’ and let me light these candles before things do get worse?” No, she decided that plan A was too much of a distraction.
So she activated plan B.
The wedding director grabbed a candle lighter and ran upstairs to the second floor level behind the pulpit area, looking for an entrance to the choir loft. Since this was not her home church, she was not familiar with the building. Several times she opened doors to closets. She could hear the vows continue, and she knew that if she did not hurry, soon the couple would be up a candle without a lighter. Finally, she found a door from the second floor to the stairway that descended to the choir loft. She descended the stairs and slowly opened the door to the choir loft and motioned to the photographer. He was sitting on the floor behind the choir railing, taking pictures by a remote control of various cameras that he was monitoring. He was out of view of the congregation, but he was right there on the other side of the choir railing from the unity candle.
The photographer turned white as a sheet when he saw a woman lying on her stomach, peering out of a crack in the door to the choir loft, poking a stick at him. But he caught on quickly.
I was unaware that any of this was going on. All I remember is that as the groom was placing the ring on the bride’s finger, out of the corner of my left eye I noticed a person rise up from behind the choir railing, light each of the two side candles, and then disappear again behind the choir railing. I didn’t even know there was a crisis, but the photographer came to the rescue, just in the nick of time!
God likes to show up just in time. When the Israelites crossed the Jordan River, God waited until their feet were in the water before He opened dry ground before them (Joshua 3:15-16). Even Jesus Himself showed up just in time. The Bible says, “But when the right time came, God sent his Son, born of a woman...” (Galatians 4:4, New Living Translation). God is always on time; He’s never too early and never too late. Isn’t it time that you trusted in Him?
Copyright 2007 by Bob Rogers. Read this column each Thursday for a mix of religion and humor. You can read more “Holy Humor” stories on the Web page of First Baptist Church of Rincon at www.fbcrincon.com.