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Sunday, Sep. 14, 2014

Several weeks ago

Posted Monday, March 5, 2012, at 11:52 AM

You would be surprised at how many requests churches receive daily from emails asking for money and assistance. My secretary will forward on to me ones that seem different than the others. So, 15 to 25 will get my personal attention on an average day.

One of them would not leave me alone. It came from a person who claimed he was a professor at a school in another state. I had never heard of him or that school but something kept haunting me, convincing me to call the telephone number listed on his email. He answered immediately and was excited about my calling. He explained his request and asked if I would help. I agreed to do so even though it meant giving up my only day off in a month. This guy was convincing!

The next day he walked into our office after having flown from Texas. It was late in the afternoon and our sanctuary was already darkening. I lit the candles on the altar and turned on the spotlights. He gave me the details of what he wanted me to do. And he handed me a blindfold to cover both eyes.

He had already telephoned his girlfriend who didn't know he had traveled to Greencastle that very day. She was already on her way to knock on the "red doors" of the sanctuary that face south and the campus from which she will soon graduate. She indeed did knock and I let her inside. I explained who I was and that I had been asked to give her the blindfold to cover her eyes. Why she trusted this stranger I'll never know, but she did as requested and I escorted her through the center aisle of the sanctuary up to the altar that she couldn't see. Following my instructions to leave them in privacy, I could hear him beginning to play the piano as he asked her to take his hand in marriage.

Ten minutes later he bolted back into our office. "She said yes," he enthused. "Would you please come and offer us a blessing?" I followed him back up to the altar where there was a bride-to-be just beaming! I offered my blessing under the burning candles, the spotlights, and the image of Christ that glowed through the stain glass windows as the fading sunlight added just the right touch. I asked to see her ring and she proudly displayed her left hand so that I could admire the diamond that now adorned what had been undecorated fingers. Together, arm in arm, they left the church ready to face an unknown future because of the love that gave them courage and hope.

This happened in January, just a few weeks ago. This happened on a week where stress and the economy were impacting so many families in Putnam County. This happened during a week when I had already met with three couples who had decided to file for divorce. This event touched my soul. This renewed my belief in love and relationships and the happiness that two can share. Even during these difficult times it was a blessing to be reminded that love hasn't died or given up.

Maybe it's time for all of us to fall in love all over again!

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Sunshine for the Soul
Rev. P.T. Wilson
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P.T. Wilson is the senior pastor at Gobin Memorial United Methodist Church, Greencastle, and is also the University Chaplain at DePauw University.
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