October 10, 2011

All is Gift.

Monday night. Today found my alarm clock ringing at 5am. I needed to be up at the hospital at 7am to photograph some special family portraits today. I got up and got ready with prayer in my heart for the family I would photograph, then I spent some dedicated time in prayer. Praying for God's presence and grace to be easily seen and felt throughout the day. My friends would be delivering a baby that would be in the arms of Jesus within a short time of birth. They had a precious hour with him before he would fall asleep in the Lord.

I did not know what today would bring. I certainly knew that it would be difficult and that there would be tears and knowing this family I also assumed there would be some smiles, too. The story of the day is theirs to tell, but what I feel led to share is what I saw in the faces and actions while under pressure and unimaginable sadness. I saw a mom and dad in tune with each other while both suffering. Each allowing the other the grace to journey through the day. Neither more than a glance away from the other. I saw family with soft kind words for each other being generous with time spent with baby C. I saw a family being comfortable with each other just being together in the midst of grieving and celebration both.

I saw big sisters staring into their baby brother's face as though he was the most beautiful thing they had ever seen. He was a beautiful baby, but the look on the sisters who are both preschool aged was of being mesmerized by their little brother, they were proud and thrilled to be able to hold him.

Grandmothers working together to get some special footprints of baby, then dressing him, and loving on him together. Their generous hearts to each other spoke of what humble and kind women they are.

Grandpa's close by and supporting their wives and children. Arm's around a shoulder, just being present in the midst of tears. Their strength and character apparent.

As a mom it was difficult for me to take my eyes off of the mom. The way she held her baby on her chest as they were wheeled in from the Labor and Delivery room. The grace that she exhibited through this difficult day for the lack of better words, blew my mind. She had so much love for all those around her, for her little girls who leaned a little too hard on her c-sectioned tummy, never even a whimper but a kind readjusting of her child with a gentle smile on her face the whole time. Her face, to me, looked as though she had been with the Lord. I am sure she was, He was faithful to her and her husband and all the family. He was faithful.

I know this family must have questions and complaints for the Lord, but it was apparent that they belong to God. He is their strength when they are weary. He was the lifter of their heads today, and they submitted to His sovereignty with such gentleness of spirit. The words of Mary are never far from my mind, "May it be to me as You will." And that was the heart of this beloved family today.

My camera has afforded me moments of grace that I will never forget. Taking pictures of terminal children suffering with cancer, the quiet moment of prayer between a bride and groom, a newborn's fingers and toes. I am thankful to watch through my lens and be able to record moments that can not ever be regained. In a picture we can remember. I thank God for this sacred gift of presence in these situations He has given me.

All is gift.