That’s what family and friends of Kim and Scotti Madison wondered when they opened their invitations to the couple’s Tuesday wedding. But to Kim and Scotti, it made perfect sense.
Kim lived in Nashville, where she’d raised her five children after a tough divorce. Scotti, also divorced, traveled to Nashville on business. Friends introduced them, and from the day they met, they shared a commitment to taking things slowly and making sure any relationship that developed would be prayerfully considered.
“When I was navigating the dating world after my divorce, my pastor said, ‘Kim, the right man for you is the one who would be serving the homeless whether you are there or not,’” Kim recalled.
Sure enough, the night Scotti traveled to Nashville to ask Kim to consider dating him seriously was also the night she’d committed to overseeing midweek worship at the Nashville Women’s Mission. She said yes to the date, on the condition that Scotti join her at the mission. And, she added, since he’d be coming anyway, would he be her guest speaker?
Scotti agreed, and that night he spoke from his heart to the women about losing his son to heroin and about living a strong life in the aftermath of such a tragedy.
“I heard his heart for Jesus, and I saw his desire to serve others,” Kim said. “I knew that night God wanted us to be together.”
Not long after that night, they were invited to volunteer at the Bridge Ministry, a thirteen-year-old ministry serving the homeless under the Jefferson Street Bridge in Nashville.
“This was a sector of our society I used to look through and around,” Scotti says. “Now I look into the eyes and souls of those who are hurting. Jesus said, ‘They will know you by your love.’ Serving, listening, hugging, and praying with these special people alongside Kim is where I am the happiest and most fulfilled.”
By Christmas, Scotti made it clear he wanted to marry Kim, and she felt the same way about him. Over the following month, the couple prayed about God’s timing for the wedding and the details. Of course, Nashville offered plenty of beautiful venues, and there were a number of Fridays and Saturdays that would have worked just fine.
But that’s not what God showed them. Both Kim and Scotti felt the Lord showed them the same location and time: under the Jefferson Street Bridge, on a Tuesday night, when they could celebrate with and serve the homeless.
“It was a real destination wedding,” Scotti says, smiling. “And we shared it with our special guests—those whom Jesus wanted invited to the wedding banquet: ‘the poor, the crippled, the lame, the blind.’”
“We’d reached a point in our lives where we recognized Christ’s love is centered around serving,” Kim adds. “We wanted our friends and family to know and hear, ‘This is who we are. Will you now serve alongside us?’”
And so, on May 9, 2017, they gathered with their guests, including more than two hundred of their homeless friends. Everyone enjoyed an amazing meal, a worship service and a heartfelt ceremony. Knowing that to the homeless a slice of wedding cake meant they were truly guests who mattered, Kim and Scotti made sure everyone had all the wedding cake they wanted. When Kim and Scotti were pronounced man and wife, they went down every aisle and greeted their guests individually.
No one who attended that wedding left unmoved or unchanged. Why? Because Kim and Scotti took the love that filled their hearts when they served the homeless, and they gave it back—bestowing it abundantly and permanently on every one of their wedding guests.
David Jeremiah, A Life beyond Amazing: 9 Decisions That Will Transform Your Life Today (Nashville: Thomas Nelson, 2017).
Check out our Bible Study on the Fruit of the Spirit based on David Jeremiah’s book, A Life Beyond Amazing.
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