A truck stop wedding and food distribution for those in need: Rarely do things stand out in my mind as “unique” these days. It seems like everything has been done and most of us have seen the odd or unusual take place. Of course that unique experience is different for everyone. I think I experienced the unique on Wednesday night in Murfreesboro, Tennessee while volunteering with Last Call 4 Grace. Last Call volunteers hand out hot meals and groceries to those in need at several different motels twice a week.
Perhaps you have read an article from some city in somewhere U.S.A. about a wedding that unfolded at a truck stop, but have you ever heard of a wedding in the parking lot of a truck stop, next to a motel where residents are barely making ends meet, with homeless residents applauding the “I do’s?” I should add to that, the wedding took place in the middle of a food distribution for the less fortunate.
No, that probably cannot be topped by any newspaper, radio station or TV report in this day and age.
On Wednesday night the homeless, the less fortunate and volunteers who hand out groceries and hot meals weekly gathered behind Uncle Sandy’s Truck Stop in Murfreesboro. The truck stop is next door the Regal Inn, a motel that rents out rooms by the week. The reason for the gathering was to hand out food and on this night, to witness two lives come together in holy matrimony.
A man who is no stranger to the long arm of the law who goes by the nickname of “Wolf” married the love of his life who goes by “Tina” or, according to Wolf, “She Wolf.” Together, the two tied the knot before a local pastor who routinely pastors those in need at the local Boys and Girls Club.
While the sound of the names may be a bit different, the circumstances of their wedding and the setting are what many would classify as unique, their sincerity in nuptials was anything but ordinary. I have seen many weddings over the years and seldom do I see tears from the groom. Wednesday was different as a man who had a face hardened by a lengthy past broke down in tears. Wolf was overcome with emotion as Pastor Freddy announced the two as husband and wife. The crowd of all walks of life cheered as they kissed.
After the wedding one of the volunteers placed a wedding cake on the tailgate of a pickup truck. Wolf and Tina then sliced into the cake under a shop light powered by a small generator. Wolf smeared the cake across Tina’s face with laughter and then Tina rubbed the icing across Wolf’s forehead. The crowd laughed as the two hugged one another.
Alcohol could be smelled on some of those in attendance who battle their own addictions, but alcohol was not used to toast the bride and groom. Instead, orange Crush soda that was being handed out as part of the free food distribution was used to toast the bride and groom. Some say the wedding was perfect. Others commented, “I never thought I would see a wedding tonight.” In fact, the wedding came as a complete surprise to many.
Regardless of the setting, the wedding was surprisingly perfect in every way imaginable. Plus, what better way to compliment a non-profit that hands out food to those in need? It was obvious to me that Wolf and Tina view the parking lot as their church, without walls. The parking lot, where prayer is held twice weekly and food is handed out to those in need, is where the broken are often saved and now… where lives come together.
In closing, something else stands out to me as fascinating about this wedding. The parking lot and the truck stop where the wedding took place is owned by a Muslim. That tells me that the owner, who has a different religious belief from me, actually welcomes the brotherly love of Christians to hold weekly events closely associated with the love for Christ on his property weekly. If that alone does not tell you that Murfreesboro, Tennessee is a special place with people of all backgrounds coming together, I don’t know what does.