Apr 30, 2015

Finding Favor While Trying to Give It

“Hey, would you like to go with me to a wedding Saturday night?” was the question Cathy asked me. My mind was distracted and hadn’t heard what she had asked me even though we were both sitting a couch.
“Would you like to go with me to a wedding?” she asked again realizing that I may not have heard her question.
I thought to myself; “This coming Saturday; as in two days from now?” As far as I could recall Saturday was booked solid. We had planned to watch two of our grandchildren overnight Friday and then spend the whole day helping their parents with some projects on their hobby farm.
I stopped what I was doing, muted the TV, and asked what she was referring to. A customer of hers had been struggling in his marriage and had been separated from his wife for the past year; partially due to unemployment and medical crises. The couple had decided to renew their vows and they had given Cathy an invitation to the celebration.
Again, as far as I could recall, Saturday was booked solid so I reminded her; “We already have plans to watch two of our grandchildren overnight Friday and then spend the whole day helping their parents with some projects on their hobby farm.”
Cathy, turning down the opportunity to state that she already knows this, instead pleaded her case. She said; “I really think that I need to go to at least the reception, it would mean a lot to the two of them and I need a date”.
Cathy explained to me that over this past year she has been praying for daily opportunities to show God’s favor to those that He had brought into her day. Not only had he been a customer, but Cathy has been able to offer encouragement to this man as well as to pray with him. 
I said “yes” as my mind quickly recalled the numerous times over the years that I had asked her to accompany me to a wedding or funeral that I was officiating; especially where I knew the couple/person and she did not; nor did she (or usually I) speak or know their native language. And, I should interject, this couple also had moved to the USA and spoke a language other than English.
We went about our tasks that Saturday but we were not able to get done all that I or my son-in-law wanted to accomplish due to our new time constraints.
Realizing that we would need another day to finish everything, we stopped our work, said “goodbye” as we committed to coming back on another day, drove home and then quickly showered and dressed into wedding clothes, and then rushed to join the couple on their happy celebration across town in another city.
As soon as we arrived at the parking lot at the location of the reception, the happy groom greeted us in ‘broken’ English. He was getting something out of his truck and escorted us not only into the rental hall, but right to the table at which we would be sitting. He spent some time with us as his wife welcomed us to their celebration.
Throughout the time of the reception, he came back and offered us a variety of beverages. Eventually, his bride came and sat down with us and we realized that the table we were seated at was the ‘head’ table or the place of honor; they really wanted us to be a part of their celebration as their ‘honored’ guests. This was confirmed even more when, three weeks later, he stopped by where Cathy works to give us a custom made cake to say; "thank you" for coming to their wedding reception. 
Throughout the time that we sat at the table, several times great food was brought to our table; more than we could eat. And multiple times the groom came back and offered us a variety of beverages and instructed us to eat even though we were already full. We think that he was determined either to lavishly show his favor to us or else get our girth to the same size that he was currently at.
It still throws me off when I officiate a wedding and I am asked to sit at a place of honor. But this was a place of favor that I hadn’t experienced before. Here we were at wedding for a couple that only Cathy knew; or at least had met when he had come to her store over the past year and they were showing great favor by having us sit at a place of honor.
We sat and enjoyed our time together as we listened to the music and attempted to hold conversations with others who didn’t speak English as I attempted to use what little words I knew of their language. All in all it was a good time and great food.
Eventually, we turned down more food, said our goodbyes, and drove home one pant size bigger. Cathy and I were both so very grateful and glad that we had “elected” to say ‘yes’ to another opportunity to show the favor of God. In an attempt to show God’s favor to a couple who were starting a new chapter in their lives; we had been the recipients of favor shown to us. I was grateful that I had listened to my wife. Proverbs 18:22 (MSG version) says;
“Find a good spouse, you find a good life—and even more: the favor of God!”