A Stormy "I Do"
This story takes the cake—the wedding cake! They met and fell in love at a rodeo, the barrel-racing bride and her bull-riding groom. And at their wedding last month on the plains of central Kansas, Candra in her white gown and Caleb in his cowboy hat and jeans were picture perfect. And so was the twenty minute outdoor wedding service replete with glorious music—almost. Because some of the 250 guests sitting on folding chairs not only kept their eye on the nuptial couple, but also on their cell phone weather reports and the sky behind the couple. But then, when you live in Kansas (just ask Dorothy!), I suppose you get used to the weather’s unexpected twists. Literally.
Which is why if you look watch the wedding video of the newly-weds, Candra and Caleb Pence, you’ll see what everyone else saw—two EF-3 rated tornadoes in the distance twisting between 138 and 167 mph and sucking up the Kansas earth. Look at the video for yourself—it’s gone viral on YouTube—young lovers saying “I do” a twister bearing down on them! Only in Kansas. (http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=myYAJGrMtP0)
What a paradigm of life on the planet these days—a rumbling storm twisting somewhere off in the distance, barreling our way, we think—and life goes on—and “I do’s” still get said—must be said, really. Because what better time for the human race to discover the profound compelling of God’s love than in the path of an approaching storm? What better time to respond to that relentless and self-crucifying love than in the face of what may yet be the “big one” that earth has been awaiting?
Having just returned from four camp meetings in three weeks, I’m grateful to testify that the preaching of Calvary’s love (on the Camp Meeting at Sea cruise and at Alaska, Upper Columbia and Michigan camp meetings) still moves human hearts to reciprocate with the “I do” of grateful love in return. The cross, even in (or especially in) the context of earth’s approaching storm, still has power to grip the mind and heal the life of those who meet the Savior there. “But God demonstrates His own love toward us, in that while we were still sinners, Christ died for us” (Romans 5:8). The “I do” of Calvary draws from us our own “I do,” does it not?
After all, love must be pledged, even in the face of the approaching storm. Or rather, especially in the face of the approaching storm. Which makes today’s celebration of the “I do” make sense, doesn’t it?