Jesus told a parable where those invited refused to come so the down and out were brought in.

The June 1990 Boston Globe newspaper tells a modern version of that parable.

And engaged couple went to the Hyatt Hotel in downtown Boston and ordered the wedding meal. They had expensive taste, and after making all the choices, the bill came to $13,000. They had to leave a check for half that amount as down payment.

The day of announcements were supposed to be mailed , the potential groom got cold feet. “I’m just not sure,” he said. “it’s a big commitment. Let’s think about this a little longer.”

His angry fiancée returned to the Hyatt to cancel the banquet. The Event Manager was very understanding. “The same thing happened to me, Honey,” she said, and told the story of her own broken engagement.

But about the refund, she had bad news. “The contract is binding. You’re only entitled to $1,300 back. You have two options: to forget the rest of the down payment, or go ahead with the banquet. I’m sorry. Really, I am.”

It seemed crazy, but the more the jilted bride thought about it, the more she liked the idea of going ahead with the party—not a wedding banquet, mind you, but a big blowout.

Ten years before this the same woman had been living in a homeless shelter. She had gotten back on her feet, found a good job, and set aside a sizable nest egg. Now she had the wild notion of using her savings to treat the down-and-outs of Boston to a night on the town.

And so it was that in June of 1990, the Hyatt Hotel in downtown Boston hosted a party such as it had never been seen before.

The hostess changed the menu to boneless chicken—“in honor of the groom,” she said—and sent out invitations to rescue missions and homeless shelters.

That warm summer night, people who were used to peeling half-gnawed pizza off the cardboard - dined instead on chicken cordon bleu.

Hyatt waiters in tuxedos served hors d’oeuvres to senior citizens propped up by crutches and aluminum walkers.

Bag ladies, vagrants and addicts took one night off from the hard life on the sidewalks outside and instead sipped champagne, ate chocolate wedding cake, and danced to big-band melodies late into the night. That is grace. (Adapted from What’s So Amazing About Grace? By Philip Yancey)

Dr. Wayne Shaw (R-Grove) has been a member of the Oklahoma Senate since 2014. Prior to that he served as the senior pastor at First Christian Church, Grove, for many years.