Saturday, March 9, 2013

Six Year Old's Do NOT Get Married...or Do They?

I received a message from a bride to be this week.  She asked me if I would officiate at her wedding.  My immediate reaction was to laugh.  In my mind, this precious little girl is still in the first grade at Dillman Elementary School. She needs to go and play on the swing set adjacent to the church building instead of sending messages about weddings. It is ridiculous. Six year old's don’t get married.

Fortunately I was jarred out of my walk down memory lane before I replied to her message. This beautiful young lady is 24 years old. She will soon graduate from Texas Tech School of Law.  My reply to her request sounded ever so professional.  But underneath the veneer of professionalism in my reply, I shed a tear or maybe two.  All of us mature men are sensitive old coots.  I had to smile to myself though…

Ministry has its perks. I don’t mean country club memberships or expense accounts.  Ministry has priceless perks.  One of those benefits is the privilege of officiating at weddings for girls that you have known since the first grade, or in some cases their entire life. I can’t describe what a privilege it is to watch a young lady and her father walk down the wedding aisle.  It is beyond words.

When I look back on my career someday, there will be significant events that I will forget. There will be regrets.  I am sure there will be issues that I had wished I had handled better.  And there could be days that I wished I had done something in ministry other than serving a local church.  But if had abandoned local congregational ministry, I would have missed out on the perks that go with it.

On July 5th, Kate’s dad will give her away.  I am glad it is him and not me. I am thankful that I raised a house full of boys. But I will be there to enjoy one of the perks of congregational ministry. The wedding guests will see a beautiful bride that day, but I will see a six year old girl. I just can’t help it. After all I am an old coot.

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