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A Simple Life, a Childlike Faith

It is my understanding that the Rowan William, Archbishop of Canterbury, has written two prayers for Prince William and Kate Middleton.  One is for adults to pray; and the other is a precious and simple prayer for school children.  Additionally, the Catholic Bishop‘s Conference has released a prayer for the nation’s Catholics to pray for the royal couple.

There is no doubt that the world awaits the wedding day on Friday, April 29.

The women want to see the gown, the flowers, the hairstyles, the carriage and the shoes. The men, who aren’t making money from the Royal Wedding,  simply want to see the entire thing to be finished.  This is the fairy-tale event for which every little girl dreams.  Conversely, it is the event that every red-blooded man dreads.

Most men and women in the world will not have a royal wedding when they marry.

For one reason or the other, they may even choose the simplest, least expensive way to get married.  I seen the wedding pictures of a good friend several times.  Now faded, they were taken with an inexpensive Kodak camera.  The photographer was a friend.  There are about 10 or 12 pictures.

The bride wore a lovely, white street-length dress.  She purchased it at a department store.  The groom wore a black suit.  There was one charming bouquet of flowers made of white daisies and fern.  The bride carried it.  The best man and maid of honor wore street clothes.

Only a few months before, the couple had been full-time students and worked 40 hours a week to pay their college expenses.  Together the bride and groom  planned every detail of the service.  Together, they pooled their meager finances to be able to give a small honorarium to the pastor conducting the service.  Because the couple could not afford an elaborate reception, there were simple refreshments after the wedding.  No champagne toasts were given.

The nation did not pray for the couple.  School children didn’t have a prayer to recite at the beginning of the day.  Yet there was prayer.  A lot of prayer had ushered this couple into holy matrimony.  Godly parents had prayed.  Friends, Bible teachers and pastors had prayed.  The bride and groom had prayed together and apart.

Even more, there was a great sense of mission that encircled the wedding pair.  This man and woman set into motion a great adventure as they founded a ministry within the mentally challenged community called The Special Gathering.  They began their marriage pouring themselves into the lives of people for whom few people in their city would appreciate or welcome.  Their members would never marry or have babies.  For the struggling pair financial benefits were forgotten and sacrifices were made again and again.  The ministry grew as did their love for each other and the community they serve.

More than 25 years have passed.  Now, at least 500 mentally challenged individuals regularly pray for the man they call their pastor and his wife.  With eight chapel programs, this ministry reaches from Walterboro, South Carolina to Vero Beach, Florida.

After the Royal Wedding, the royal couple may live happily ever after. I pray, along with their nation, that they will.   However, there is little doubt that Prince William and Kate will not be as loved as the two commoners whose simple wedding day was coupled with the birth of a ministry that would touch thousands of lives within the mentally challenged community.

What are the similarities or differences between what you believe a marriage should be and the Royal Wedding?  Will you pray for Prince William and Kate?  What event initiated your adult journey?  When you began your journey did you have a relationship with the Lord?

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