Posted tagged ‘disadvantaged’

Wedding Guests

July 23, 2017

WORDS FROM W.W.                                                               July 23, 2017

                                       

A week before her wedding was to take place Sarah Cummins and her fiancee called it off. A blow to the ego and a stab to the heart, but it was over! Wedding guests were contacted to alert them to the news. A host of details were scratched off the list that no longer had to be worried about, and a few were added as happens whenever something gets canceled.

But…Sarah was still on the hook for the wedding reception at an upscale reception location, and she did not want the $30,000 to go to waste, so she did something that drew national attention. She invited the homeless for a dinner party.

The venue booked for a plated dinner for 170 featured bourbon-glazed meatballs, roasted garlic bruschetta, and wedding cake. Several local businesses and residents donated suits, dresses, and other items for the guests to wear.

Sarah greeted and welcomed each of her guests when they arrived, including a dozen veterans.

And they partied!

Cummins made this comment. “For me, it was an opportunity to let these people know they deserved to be at a place like this just as much as everyone else does.”

Matthew 22 has a story about a wedding banquet. Although it has a few twists and turns, and disturbing points that Jesus puts into the parable to make a point, it ultimately gets to the same place that Sarah Cummins came to. As it says, “So the servants went out into the streets and gathered all the people they could find, the bad as well as the good and the wedding hall was filled with guests.” (Matthew 22:10)

     How do you turn a wedding reception into a non-stuffy party? Invite the people that are usually pushed to the side so that the reception can take place. Invite the people who live outside the margins of the acceptable, the ones who are expected to wait in the shadows and not be seen.

I wish there was a follow-up story on Sarah Cummins…like, maybe a year from now, because I’m curious how this unanticipated act of generosity impacts her life more than her bank account balance? What will be the ripple effect of her valuing of the disadvantaged?

And in one of those parallel ways, isn’t this a picture of the gospel? That those who had been distanced from God by the judgment of the righteous or, if you will, the original invited, are invited to join the party because the love of God is for everyone, not just a few!

In the heartache of a broken engagement I pray that Sarah Cummins will experience and abundance of blessings, that the smiling faces of the simple folk will continue to make her chuckle, and the tears of joy of the down-and-out will drench her sorrows and warm her soul.