This past weekend the No Walls Ministry hosted its most recent 2nd Saturday picnic, but it was anything, but the same old, same old. Those who were there were treated to a rare glimpse behind the curtain, at what a world with No Walls might look like. People of all ages, backgrounds and skin colors celebrating as excited witnesses, to the exchanging of vows, between a young couple. The No Walls family had been planning to host its monthly 2nd Saturday picnic downtown, complete with a cake of Saint Patty’s day green; but when the word went out, just three days before the picnic, that a wedding might be in order, the body of Christ rose to the occasion.
Enter, stage right a young couple, desiring to honor God, in obedience with their relationship. They had little else to offer, but willing hearts and so presented themselves to their pastor for prompt consideration. It was then that the Lord saw fit to unleash the flood gates of his grace upon them and mountains began to move. The planned Saint Patrick’s Day picnic theme was scrapped in favor of wedding bells and white. Chairs were set up and the tables cleared away so the community center would look every bit like the church it would soon become on this festive occasion. The food for the reception kept coming; every time the side door opened, there stood another guest with a dish to pass.
The bride was glamorous and blessed with makeup and hair professionally styled as though preparing the bride for a fashion shoot. Her gown was white, long and flowing; her headpiece elegant and a simple floral bouquet completed the ensemble. The groom sported a dapper white tuxedo, white shoes and a smile that lighted the room. A wedding cake of white was delivered and decorated especially fine for the happy couple. The bridal party was assembled and dressed in their finest white suits and gowns too. This place, on this day provided an ideal setting for the co-laboring of God and man.
As the wedding march began to play all eyes turned to the bride as she was escorted down the center aisle and handed off to her anxiously awaiting partner. The vow exchange was short and to the point, the pastor shared a few words which reinforced the message that God’s plan included marriage as part of his way to protect families and children. Marriage is his idea and is to be valued by all. Then the groom kissed his bride as the two became one. On this particular day, the value of marriage was evident as evidenced by the smiling faces of the recently joined couple, in a community where marriages are in short supply.
Wedding gifts and cards overflowed the welcome basket, hinting at the love and support shared with this couple. Holiday Inn’s bridal suite was arranged; dinner and breakfast were also covered by unnamed donors, ensuring that a memorable wedding day and honeymoon would be enjoyed.
One of No Walls ten Core Values is that “We believe marriage and family are the foundations of a healthy society.” We had been looking for ways to celebrate marriage and elevate the idea of marriage within the College Hill community and on this day that is exactly what happened.
What was witnessed at this picnic/wedding was the body of Christ sharing with one another and pulling together so that a couple without financial means could enjoy the benefits of a Father that gives abundantly to the children he loves. At a time when it would have been easy to settle for second best, God provided lavishly through the hands and hearts of brothers and sisters in Christ; ultimately bringing himself glory and allowing the rest of us the privilege of catching a glimpse at what a world with No Walls might look like, even if only for a short time.
Stephen C. Weaver Esq. is an attorney and President of the No Walls Ministry, Inc. located in Lynchburg Virginia, whose mission is to help churches work cross culturally and cross denominationally to address the needs of the local community. He has been teaching, speaking, writing and engaging in inner city ministries for over twenty years with his particular interest and passion being in the area of race relations.