Maybe this time, I’ll keep up with my pants
We’re on the countdown to another wedding, and I look forward to being father of the bride while also performing the wedding ceremony. We had our first family wedding in November, 2008, when my second-born daughter wed at University of Georgia chapel in Athens. It was a beautiful event, and she was a gorgeous bride.
My youngest daughter marries in May, and hopefully I’ll be a little more relaxed this time. I thought I was handling things pretty well, but the morning of the wedding, my stress started showing.
We drove from my in-laws’ house in east Clark County to the motel downtown where my girls were staying. We went upstairs to the room, and were there about 15 minutes before my wife sent me to get something out of the van. When I got to the van, I couldn’t find my keys, and then I realized that the van was still running and my keys were locked inside.
So I went back upstairs and ask for my wife’s keys.
“Why do you need my keys? Where are your keys?”
“I guess I’m more nervous than I thought because I locked my keys in the van and the motor is still running.” They laughed, and I was embarrassed.
I met some out of state friends for lunch, and then rushed back to the hotel to change.
I couldn’t believe my eyes. There in front of the famous UGA arch on north campus, adjacent to the chapel, approximately 150 people were staging a protest. Carrying signs, chanting, and whooping every time a car horn sounded. I thought, “Surely these people will be gone by three o’clock.”
I drove to our hotel, grabbed my suit and hustled through the lobby and up to the third floor. As I opened the door, the phone was ringing.
I answered and the lady said, “This is the front desk. You dropped your pants in the lobby.” I didn’t have pants on the ground. I had pants on the floor and didn’t even realize they were missing.
I ran downstairs, grabbed my pants, ran back upstairs, finished getting dressed, but couldn’t find my belt. Maybe no one will notice a beltless pastor.
I dashed back to campus, and the ill-timed protest was still going strong. A group of gay people were protesting California’s proposition 8, the recently-passed amendment to the state constitution that limited marriages to one man and one woman. On my daughter’s wedding day, they were exercising their free speech, approximately 50 yards from the chapel.
Depending on where they parked, wedding guests, including senior adults, would have to walk right through that mob to get to the wedding site. I walked up to a random protester, and said, “Take me to your leader.”
He said, “What do you want with our leader?”
I said, “If I wanted to talk to you, I wouldn?t have asked for your leader. Take me to your leader.”
He led me to a young lady. I identified myself as the father of the bride, and explained that my guests would have to walk through their protest to get to the wedding.
“How long will you be going?”
She said, “We finish at three o?clock.”
I said, “This is a big day for my daughter. We’ve worked really hard on this wedding and want it to be really special. Is there anyway you all can finish by 2:45?”
She was courteous, but didn’t commit. The random guy who took me to his leader, however, suddenly chimed in with, “We’ve worked really hard, too, to be able to wed like your daughter is doing today, but we can’t legally get married, blah, blah, blah . . . ”
Ignoring the angry guy, I told the girl, “Anything you can do will be greatly appreciated,” and walked off before releasing some stress on a smart-aleck protester.
I took a deep breath, and joined my daughter for her special day. The wedding was beautiful, and pastor-dad made it through the ceremony with a few tears of joy, and a father-of-the-bride’s pride. What a day, and I even kept up with my pants.
Dr. David L. Chancey is pastor, McDonough Road Baptist Church, Fayetteville, Ga. Please join them this Sunday for Bible study at 9:45 a.m. and worship at 10:55 a.m. The church building is located at 352 McDonough Road, just past the department of drivers’ services building.