"The Shotgun Wedding" by Doug Fincher

"Marriage is honorable in all…..." Hebrews 13:4

December 21, 2020 - In 1975 I built a gun shop in Lumberton, Texas. It was located on busy Highway 96...the perfect location for the people on their way to and from work at Beaumont’s Chemical plants. That year I also took some night courses at Lamar University to work towards my Master's Degree.

I enrolled in Dr. Delmas Hybarger's Advanced Education class and sat next to Sandra whose last name was my first name…"Henry".  She was the daughter of a Baptist preacher who lived in nearby Liberty, Texas. One day during class she slipped a note to me that read, "Will you marry me?" I wrote below, "I hardly know you." I knew she was engaged to be married and was asking me to perform her wedding. Knowing that I didn't pastor a church at that time, she wrote, "Can we have it in your Gun Shop…it can be a shotgun wedding."

Around six o'clock on the wedding day a long procession of wedding guests turned in at the shop and parked along the highway.  Within moments, my shop was packed…. with standing room only.

After the ceremony Sandra's parents stayed and visited a while.  Eyeing my steaming crock-pot on the counter, her Dad asked me what smelled so good. "It's beef stew," I laughed. "It's the only thing I know how to cook."  When they asked to try it out, we all sat at the counter and enjoyed some together.

Several months later Sandra called to tell me how happily married she was. "You know, our vows were made in your Gun Shop," she said.

"…but our marriage was made in heaven."