Sunday evening we were honored to be guest and photographer at a wedding. The wedding of a godly, delightful, humble young man that we have prayed for and watched grow up. His bride was beautiful, full of the same Jesus he loves.
The wedding was beautiful. Jesus was present. He was in them, on them, spilling out of them. We wanted to participate in the worship that was happening. As a guest at the wedding I was wrapped up in the Beauty and Mystery that enveloped this sweet couple.
As photographer Michael shared that, " It's been such a long time since I've seen a bride with a smile like that, a smile that expresses such joy and excitement for the day and for her future husband. I do a lot of weddings, and unfortunately it is rare to see two people that have this joy. As the photographer so often I have to encourage expressions from the couple, but with this couple it was just there."
After the bride grabbed hold of her new husband for their first married kiss (LOVED THIS!), I made my way up to the reception hall, began visiting, salivating for the cake- made of DONUTS, and anxiously waiting for the rumored choreographed dance by the groomsmen.
However, moments later the mother of the groom and wedding coordinator (both wonderful church family and friends) found and motioned for me, "Michael has fallen, he's hurt, we've called an ambulance."
In an attempt to capture the perfect wedding party photo, Michael had climbed up onto a 6 foot
high rock monument. He described the top of the monument as having a 2ft x 4ft platform, "plenty of space" to position himself. But as Michael's dad wittingly said later, "Michael is the photographer that goes the extra step for you." Michael went the extra step and fell landing on his right hip, and right elbow.
When I found Michael he was sitting, frazzled, and lovingly surrounded by family and the bridal party. By God's strength alone, I put on my strong wife face, and determined to be steady for my husband. It is hard to intimately communicate with your spouse when you are surrounded by people so eager to care for and help. "What do you need?" i asked. "I just need you here," he responded.
At that moment I needed to fix something, anything for Michael. He was broken (physically and emotionally), The camera and lens were broken (a loss we haven't even begun to mourn), and our biggest disappointment was that it seemed to us that the beautiful wedding day had been fractured too. I put my photographer's wife hat on, a replacement photographer was found, and the bridal party was moving forward in the celebration.
We determined that an ambulance wasn't necessary, and made the 45 min. trip to the Emergency room where we discovered that Michael has a fractured right elbow, and a fractured right hip.
On the way to the hospital, finally alone just the two of us, Michael was able to give birth to the emotions he had been laboring to hold back.
"What happened after you fell?" I asked. Michael cried (in 16yrs together this is the 3rd time he has cried), "I don't know, I don't know (more tears). They were all around me, the bridal party, everyone, laying hands on me (more tears)...praying. I don't remember what they said, I remember hearing Rick (the pastor) and Casey (the groom). Denise, Casey was so selfless (more tears)...I have never seen such selflessness."
As I drove guilt started to set in. The guilt that we had left them without their wedding photographer, the guilt that this innocent fall had ruined their beautiful plans, the guilt that we had interrupted the worship of the wedding day. And as we drove the Holy Spirit spoke to me, "Denise, what a beautiful thing that the first act of worship Casey did after his wedding ceremony was to worship Me by healing. Denise, this was written into the day. This too was the offering of worship I wanted today."
Today as I am writing, I am reminded that Jesus performed His first miracle at a wedding (read John 2:1-11). And there at the wedding Jesus "revealed His glory, and His disciples put their faith in Him."
Who are we to determine how, where, and when God should be worshiped and glorified. He is God after all.
What a blessing that God chose my husband as part of the offering of worship. What a blessing that God chose to be glorified in this way on this beautiful wedding day.
As for Michael- after spending the evening as the best dressed couple in E.R., Michael was admitted to the hospital Mon. a.m. at 3:00. We waited for the orthopedic surgeon to determine whether or not Michael would need surgery. Thankfully surgery is not necessary. However healing will take much longer. He came home Tues. afternoon with a cast on his right arm, and in a wheel chair. As of now we believe that he will be in a wheel chair for 3-4 weeks, and once the cast is removed from his arm he will be moved to crutches, and will begin rehabilitation and bearing weight on his right leg.
Michael had another wedding scheduled for this coming Sat. We are thankful that God has provided another fantastic wedding photographer to replace him.
Thankfully Michael's upcoming weddings are scheduled for 7-8 weeks from now. Please pray for quick recovery.
Please pray also for God to continue to be glorified, and for all of us to be drawn deeper into His love better than life!