Saturday, August 26, 2006

Do you Believe in Matchmaking?

@Cynthia H. Green

Match Made in Heaven

“Hello Cindy. This is your Aunt Dell. How are you?”
“I'm fine. It's good to hear from you; how have you been?”
“Oh I'm doing o.k. Listen, I've got someone I want you to meet.”
My heart jumped into my throat. It felt suspiciously like she was setting me up on a blind date. Been there, done that, the T-shirt didn't fit. What was I going to say? She was describing how and where she knew him. And all the while my mind was racing ahead, trying to figure out how to tell her no, to let her down gently.
“What if he doesn't like me,” I whined.
Without acknowledging my fears, she went on to explain how she knew him.
“We know Bro. Green from sectional meetings, and he also showed us some homes when he worked at Clayton Homes,” she said. “Just want to let you know that he's a big guy--very attractive, but big.”
“That's ok,” I heard myself say, “I 'm not a skinny girl either.”
My mind was racing. She is setting me up. What has possessed my Aunt Dell? I rarely even got to see Aunt Dell and Uncle E.T. Mostly we met at church homecomings or by chance when visiting my grandmother. Uncle E.T. was my grandfather's brother, as well as a preacher. Whose idea was this anyway?
“Why don't you have him send me his picture, and I will send him mine, and we could go from there,” I suggested. That way, if he did not like what I looked like, he would never have to call, I reasoned.
“That sounds like a good idea. I'll have E.T. give him a call tonight.”
Only two days later, she called back with the news that the picture had arrived, could I come get it? There were still remnants of ice and snow on the ground from a recent storm, and Mom claimed she was suffering from cabin fever, so I took her along. Although I know she was secretly suffering from curiosity more, just as I.
I had just turned 30 and was extremely depressed over it. My father had died just a year or so before, and I had resigned myself to living with Mom and keeping her company. Worse yet, it was the beginning of a new year, 1996—the time for new resolutions and new goals, and I had lost any hope of keeping any resolutions or reaching any goals. My only dream was to become a wife and mother. And it just was not meant to be. I lamented the fact to her that all the good men my age were already taken. I made excuses for not getting out. Socializing at church was pointless. It was a family church , and we all were related, and besides, I was deeply insecure over my weight. No one would ever want me, I reasoned. I had been seeing someone, but he had stood me up both Christmas and New Years. It was obvious that was headed nowhere. I had resigned myself to being an old maid.
“Here's what Bro. Green sent. I had him send it here, seeing as I didn't have your address,” my uncle began as he gently handed me the envelope.
“I don't know what to make of Mom's matchmaking. But you take it for what it's worth, and pray about it. And go from there.” He had this twinkle in his eye as he chuckled to himself. He is amused with her matchmaking game, I thought.
I opened the envelope slowly, not knowing what to expect at all. I saw a very pleasant, handsome man in a grey suit smiling back at me.
“He's very attractive,” I said.
“Oh yes,” interjected Mama. “What does the note say?”
I hadn't even noticed the note inside the envelope I was so engrossed in the pictures. I took it out. It was short:
“Dear Cindy,
Here is my number if you would like call me.
In His Service,
Charles Green, Jr.”
I refolded the note, sighed, and said, “Ok. Send him my picture.”
Uncle E.T. Went to his bedroom and returned with a piece of paper, an envelope, and a pen. He penned a short note and slid my picture inside.
“This will go out first thing in the morning,” he replied.
I went home that night and gathered the courage to call. I knew "Bro. Green" did not have my picture yet. But I could not resist finding out more about him.
“Is Charles Green in?”
“Which Charles Green do you want?” a lady's voice answered, “Charles, Sr. or Jr.?”
“Oh. Um. Charles, Jr. please.” It was then I realized I was speaking to the mother as I heard her call out:
“Bubbbbbbbbbbbbbbbba, telephone.”
Bubba, I was calling Bubba, not Bro. Green. He was just like me, living at home with his parents. Suddenly I was no longer intimidated. We had found a common chord, and I smiled to myself as he answered.
“This is Charles”
His voice was deep and resonate, and for a split second it seemed as if I had heard him before. It was comforting, and so familiar. We spoke as if we were old friends. Thirty minutes later we had set a time and date for our first meeting—Friday night. I hung up the phone and actually smiled. Still, the thought nagged at me that he had not seen my picture yet.
By Wednesday I was just a ball of nerves. I had put his picture on my desk, and every day I would look at it and think, “Is he the one? Lord, please let him be the one.”
A knock at the office door broke the spell, as a candy striper entered with a half of a dozen red roses.
“Someone's getting flowers. Who's birthday is it?” my supervisor asked.
“Not mine,” my friend Cindy Miller replied.
“Not mine,” I replied.
“These are for Cindy Robinson,” the candy striper responded.
My eyes widened in shock. I had never received flowers from a suitor. There must be some mistake. But as I opened the card and read, a chill went up my spine, and I whooped like a schoolgirl.
“They're from him!” I exclaimed.
“Who?” Cindy asked.
“This guy my aunt and uncle are fixing me up with. We are supposed to go out Friday. They are from him. The card says: 'Looking forward to meeting you, Charles.'”
“Girl, you better snap him up quick,” she laughed.
“I think you're right,” I laughed back.
Six o'clock Friday night came and no Charles. I paced. I looked out the window. He's stood me up, I thought. I knew it. He got my picture and backed out. All sorts of things were going through my mind. But finally at 6:15 his car pulled into the drive. Late, that can't be good, I thought as I opened the door to meet him.
“I got lost. Took the first road and went a couple of miles before I realized it.”
I laughed and told him that everyone did that. He shook hands with my mom, met my sister, and then introduced himself to me. He walked me to the car, opened the door, and there was a present in the seat. I picked it up and got in. After we got out of the drive. I sat holding the present, wondering what I should say, or if I should just hold it.
“If I had a present waiting for me, I would have already opened it,” Charles teased.
“Oh you shouldn't have,” I said. And began to nervously undo the ribbons.
Inside the box was a copper piano music box. I turned the key and was greeted with strains of “The Sound of Music.” It was obvious someone had told him that I was the pianist at our church. I was being given the royal treatment, and I liked it. We had dinner, strolled the mall, went to a local bookstore, and on the way home stopped out my home church. I wanted to hear him sing. He wanted to hear me play. It was as if we had known each other a lifetime.
We sat in the empty sanctuary playing tunes and singing, talking in between about ourselves, our hobbies, our common interests. It was the longest shortest date of my life.
It ended with an awkward hug. I followed him back to the car, told him how much I enjoyed the evening, and pecked him on the cheek. I told him to call me. And already I had no doubts that he would.
Five weeks later Charles asked me to marry him. It was at one of our wedding showers that we heard Aunt Dell relating how it all came about. It turned out that Aunt Dell had been awakened one morning from a dream about Charles and me. She had awakened Uncle E.T. saying she had had this dream and that God told her to introduce me to Bro. Green. You would think that being awakened with this news would shock him, but he said he just laughed and said, “We'll see.”
On June 29, 1996 we married in the same chapel where we went on our first date.
Uncle E.T. presided over the ceremony; Aunt Dell sat in a place of honor with my mother—all thee of whom have gone on to receive their rewards, and are probably smiling down from heaven at the family we have become. We took them out for a steak dinner on our first anniversary, and finally found out what Uncle E.T. had found so amusing. Aunt Dell had a direct line with God...We were not the first couple to have gotten married as a result of her matchmaking. We were the third!


Delia said...

Such a beautiful story! And it was so sweet when he sent you roses before you'd even met! And then the music box on the first date!

Your Aunt Dell and most especially God knew exactly what they were doing bringing you two together!

Praying for your Prodigal said...

No kidding?!?!? What a beautiful story! What an AMAZING way to meet! That Bubba sounds like a keeper!

Thanks for sharing this story Cindy! It's a great story.....and I'm so glad to know this little tid-bit about you two! Can't resist a story with a happy ending!

Not to mention--a God-thing story!


Kathleen Marie said...

How SWEET!! My husband and I were "born again" on the same day, only he was on the west coast and I was in the midwest. We met one week later and married five weeks after that. The Holy Spirit was indeed our "matchmaker". We have now been married for over 22 years.

God is good, all the time!

Gretchen Lavender said...

Wow! Now that's what I'd call a great match!