A Dropped Wedding Ring
I’ve spent my life sitting in the pews, and have seen so many interesting things happen.
Most memorable are times when I’ve seen (or heard) items dropped in church.
I’ve seen the embarrassment of ushers dropping the collection plate as the coins rolled all over the auditorium
I’ve heard songbooks slap loudly as they landed on the floor. (In the days before carpet, that was a loud event.)
My boyhood church had several ping-pong tables and no service was replete without a teenager dropping a ping-pong ball. I can attest that a ball bounces 8.3 times on a tile flow before rolling, and causes at least 24.3 turning heads.
I once saw a baby dropped over the back of a pew and a youth make a “game-changing” catch that Jerry Rice would have been proud of.
However, the most memorable drop was when I saw—and heard a man drop his wedding ring during a funeral.
It was in a rural wood-floored church near the Sabine River. With every seat taken, a group of us men stood around the back wall. A helpful member escorted us to the choir for seating. We were directly behind the pastor who stood behind the open casket of the deceased.
About five minutes into the sermon, the man sitting beside me began fooling with his wedding band. Maybe it was nervousness due to his exposed seat in the choir, but he repeatedly took it off and slipped it back on.
I glanced over just as the ring slipped out of the man’s grasp. In seemingly slow motion, it arced toward the preacher’s feet.
It landed with a loud ping, followed by several more pings as it bounced along the stage.
I’m pretty sure it bounced the aforementioned 8.3 times before rolling under the piano.
Every head in the church craned toward the sound. Even the pastor hesitated and looked around behind him. I believe the dead man was the only one that didn’t turn or crane to check it out.
The ring-less man dropped his head, and then glanced toward me in red-faced embarrassment, I wanted to point above his head and say, “It was him. Him, not me.”
The service ended.
The mourners passed by in single file past the casket.
I got out as quiet as I could, being careful to avoid the man who dropped the ring. I wondered how he got it out from under the piano.
I’ve seen other men take off their wedding ring and drop it.
It wasn’t in a church. In fact, there are as many places—and ways—that they’ve removed their ring
And damaged their lives.
And lost all that really mattered.
All for a few minutes of pleasure outside the arms of the woman who had placed that ring on their finger.
Just like my pew mate at the funeral, they didn’t intend to drop the ring. They took it off for a brief moment out of boredom, inattentiveness, or lust.
And dropped it.
Once dropped, it was impossible to call back the loud bounce off the floor.
Some good advice from another man: Keep your wedding ring on.
It’s hard—even impossible—to drop it if it’s firmly planted on your left hand ring finger.
Prayer: Lord, help me to make the right decisions in my faithfulness and commitment to the wife you’ve given me. Amen