I mean. How can you top first graders singing Away in a Manger accented by lisps from missing teeth as a wedding prelude? No one noticed the ruby poinsettia sprays draped over the end of each pew, or the candelabras’ reflection on stain glass windows. We were too busy peering around heads to catch those six-year-olds singing. And singing. And singing.
After the third round of Silver Bells, even the grandparents in the crowd started suspecting a glitch.
The bride’s mother stilled our curiosity when she stepped to the front. “Is there an organist in the house?” she half shouted, half laughed. “Our organist is lost in Casey, and can’t be here for forty-five minutes. If you can play, please step into the pastor’s office to the left of the sanctuary.”
Gasps and nervous chuckles shot through the crowd. But I knew someone who could save the day. “Honey, you can play,” I whispered to my husband. “Go tell them you’ll help.”
“Oh, Jeanette, I don’t play the organ—only the piano. It’s a different instrument altogether. Surely in a crowd of this size, there’s someone who’s trained on the organ.”
Not to betray my German heritage, I persisted. “No one is moving, Kev. You can do this; I know you can. Just don’t use the foot pedals, and they’ll never notice!”
His eyes skimmed the room with a nervous gaze. “No, I don’t think I could.”
“Yes, you can, now just go do it.” My elbow may have slipped into his ribs; I don’t remember.
With one final desperate look around the room, the man rose from his seat. He moseyed to the door of the pastor’s study, eyes on the carpet. As he pulled the door shut behind him, I sighed in relief. Thank you, Jesus.
Five minutes later, when he took his seat on the organ bench, a collective smile embraced all 200 guests. He played the processional like the first snowfall, sprinkling each bridesmaid with music as they glided down the aisle. He gained more confidence for The Wedding March, and the bride received a full-scale storm of Wagner. By the recessional, organ music avalanched from his fingers. As the ushers dismissed each row, he bounced on the organ seat like a kid on a toboggan, playing original compositions, carols, and classical pieces.
No need for stairs from the platform to the sanctuary floor. He floated down and out to the parking lot, his halo glimmering in the afternoon sun.
At the reception, guests lined up to congratulate the wedding superhero. He grinned and nodded between bites of cake, “I was happy to help;” “It was the least I could do;” and my personal favorite, “No problem at all!” I finally snatched his wallet and held up his driver’s license next to his face.
“What are you doing, Jeanette?”
“Checking to see if I came with the right man.”
He grabbed the wallet out of my hand. “I just didn’t want to steal the show from anyone else who could play. Everyone might think I was showing off.”
“No way would they think that about you, hon. Everyone could see you only wanted to help some friends out of a jam.” I jabbed him in the ribs one last time, and straightened his wings.
photo credit: unknown