A Match Made in Heaven
Consumed by her loss, Quinn barely noticed the coldness of the church pew. She was at her father’s funeral- who finally had lost his long battle with cancer. The hurt was so intense, that breathing became a challenge. When her father’s illness was diagnosed, her sister just had a new baby and her brother had recently married his childhood sweetheart, so it fell on her, the 25-year-old youngest child without entanglements, to take care of him. Instead of considering it a burden, Quinn thought of this new task as an honor.
“What now, Lord?” she whispered to herself in the quiet, dimly lit church. As big fat tears rolled down her cheeks, she felt her life stretch out before her as an empty abyss. Her brother sat stoically with his face toward the cross, clutching his wife’s hand. Her sister sat slumped against her husband’s shoulder, his arms around her as she cradled their son. All so deeply grieving, no one noticed she was sitting alone.
Suddenly, a door opened and slammed shut at the back of the church. Quick footsteps hurried along the carpeted floor. An exasperated young man looked around briefly and then plopped down on the seat next to Quinn. He folded his hands, placed them on his lap and stared quietly as his eyes overflowed with tears.
He began to sniffle. “I’m late,” he explained, though no explanation was necessary. After several eulogies, he leaned over and commented, “Why do they keep calling Mike by the name of ‘Micah’?”
“Oh. Because that was his name, Micah. Never Mike.” Quinn whispered-wondering why this person couldn’t have sat on the other side of the church. He interrupted her grieving with his tears and fidgeting. Who was this stranger anyway? she thought to herself.
“No, that isn’t correct,” he insisted, as several people glanced over at them whispering, “His name is Mike, Mike Bergman.” Befuddled, Quinn asked him what he meant.
With an exasperated sigh, he asked, “Isn’t this St. Michael’s Lutheran church?” To which Quinn replied “No, the Lutheran church is across the street. I believe you are at the wrong funeral, Sir.” The solemnness of the occasion mixed with the realization of the man’s mistake bubbled up inside her and came out as laughter.
Quinn cupped her hands over her tear-stricken but now smiling face, hoping her giggles would be interpreted as sobs. The creaking of the pew gave her away. Sharp looks from other mourners only made the situation seem more hilarious. As she peeked at the bewildered, misguided man seated beside her, she realized that he too, was having a fit of silent laughter. He glanced around and decided it was too late for an uneventful exit.
Quinn imagined her father laughing and felt better. At the final “Amen,” they darted out a door and into the parking lot. “I do believe we’ll be the talk of the town,” he smiled. He said his name was Rick and since he had missed his uncle’s funeral, asked her out for a cup of coffee.
That afternoon, a lifelong journey began with this man who attended the wrong funeral, but was at the right place. A month later, they were married at a country church where he was the assistant pastor. This time they both arrived at the same church, right on time. Quinn then realized that in her time of sorrow, God gave her laughter. In place of loneliness, God gave her love. This past June they celebrated their twenty-second wedding anniversary. Whenever anyone asks the couple how they met, Rick tells them, “Her father and my Uncle Mike introduced us.” It truly was a match made in heaven.