Photographing weddings is perhaps the most stressful job on planet earth. And if the other planets had weddings, I’m sure it would be stressful there as well, what without the gravity to hold the guests down and all. I suppose brain surgeons and counselors and EMTs have pretty stressful jobs, too. But those wedding photographers. They’ve got a lot of pressure to capture perfect.
I’ve taken photos at a lot of weddings. Only once have I been the main photographer (an honor and a joy, but never again thankyouverymuchamen). I’ve spent a lot of time trying to figure out what it is I am fascinated by about a bride on her wedding day. And I think I’ve finally got it.
It’s because there is something magical about the way of a woman who knows she is loved.
She is captivating. Compelling. Inspiring. On that day, she and her love have gathered up all those in their world and they say to one another, I choose you. With all of your crazy mess, with all of your fears and worries, with all of your radiant beauty, I choose you — when you are sick and when you are well, when you are rich and when you are poor. I choose you, and only death will come between us. And even then, you’ll be my love.
People who know they are loved are moved to be lovers. People who are unloved cannot move at all.
Until we know we are loved and accepted, we will continue to hide, to stay safe, to hold our cards close to our chest, to keep our real selves hidden from the world. It’s why that boy sent you a note in 5th grade that said “If you like me, check yes or no.” Check yes, and I’m safe to move. Check no and I may be hurt but at least I’ve not risked much. If we don’t know we are loved then it is unsafe to love in return.
The ones who love best are the ones who are able to receive and embrace their own belovedness. We cannot give what we have not first received. I dare you to believe that you are seen by a God who says to you, I choose you. With all of your crazy mess, with all of your fears and worries, with all of your radiant beauty, I choose you — when you are sick and when you are well, when you are rich and when you are poor. I choose you, and not even death will come between us.
Change begins in the secret place of the heart. And so as we talk about what it means to influence the world, as we seek to understand what it means to make the best kind of change, as you sit there on the bathroom floor with your palms up, after grace comes by and fills your arms with gifts and blessing and fullness, know you are loved. There is singing going on, and it’s happening over you.
“The LORD your God is in your midst, a mighty one who will save; he will rejoice over you with gladness; he will quiet you by his love; he will exult over you with loud singing.”
This is the sixth post in a series. Read 31 Days to Change the World from the beginning. Go here to see all of the other 31 Day series happening around the internets. Want to have Chatting at the Sky delivered into your email inbox? Subscribe here for free.