It’s after the ceremony today and the bride and groom are at my place because they like what we’ve done with the stonework and flowers and all. They’re having photos taken when the groom, a long-time Ugandan journalist friend, asks if I’ll give a speech at the reception. It’s in two hours.
When the moment comes, I’m told I’m actually supposed to talk on behalf of all of the groom’s friends, this being the Ugandan custom. This, I find, interesting enough, as I’m in a sea of black faces, yes the only white among 300 blacks.
So I’m up there speeching it. It’s a new day, I say, and my friend is in a new house, so-to-speak, the sort of house that we can’t really build ourselves, the kind only the Lord can.
I’m talking about it all, how blessed this day is, how this house will withstand the strong storms, and everyone is looking at me and my mobile rings.
Fearing the noise will be picked up by the microphone I’m holding, I pause, take the phone from my pocket and give it to someone standing a few feet away to hold and muffle the sound safely away. Instead he opens it, which opens the line, but doesn’t say a word.
As it turns out (I discover later) it’s Jean calling from Canada, and she can hear my voice, hear my unexpected Ugandan wedding speech, hear it all the way from the other side of the ocean, hear me talking about what, in fact, the Lord has done for Jean and myself also — built the house of marriage that we enjoy so much.
So what is that? The timing. I mean what are the odds?