: David’s introduction to his Groomsmen and Best Man :
The Best Man:
My dad. He’s awesome in ways all other men in history wish they were (With the exception of the guy who came back to life and stayed that way that one time). My staunchest supporter through thick and thin, and unrelenting source of life-giving wisdom and encouragement. My father is a hero in the truest, most self-sacrificing sense of the word. There is no man on earth more deserving of respect and admiration. He’s walked with me through every storm of life, and been there to rejoice with every victory. His unspoken example has shaped me just as much as the instruction he’s voiced. It’s my truest privilege to have him standing next to me as I follow in his footsteps and begin a marriage I pray is even half as blessed as the one he’s built with my mom. That, and none of the other guys are nearly as funny as he is.
My oldest friend, and only the Lord knows how he still is after 18 years. I would’ve given up on me a decade ago if I were Micah. But he didn’t and hasn’t. We’re the sort of brothers who can simply not speak or hear from each other for years, and still pick it back up as if we just hung out yesterday. In our younger years, he was the staggeringly brilliant one, and I was probably his dim-witted lab assistant. He’s the only guy I know who can laugh at the awkwardness of the human condition and make you do the same. There were times I can distinctly remember being stressed over things that simply do not matter, and Micah was able to get me choking with laughter at those very same things effortlessly only moments later. He’s worked on nuclear reactors- just to prove how much smarter than you he is… and he’s raising 4 daughters- just to prove how much more insane than you he is.
“There is always redemption for people- even the broken ones like us” I remember hearing that somewhere about the time Andrew and I reconnected after years of silence. He and I met through mutual friends after my stint in the military ended, and immediately found common ground thanks to our shared artistic passions. We spent almost a year dreaming up various schemes- from starting our own graphic design business, to forging college degrees so we could get jobs in Japan. Almost a decade disconnected, and our friendship was restored providentially. Since then, Andrew’s been a ‘just-when-I-needed-it’ source of encouragement from afar. I’ve had the honor of being a long-distance supporter of his new dreams, and I love getting updated from the front lines of his fight against poverty and hopelessness in his urban battlefield as he works at a rescue mission in Denver. He’s the guy who believes the best about you- even if you’re about to do something he knows is really really stupid.
I remember him as that scrappy, talkative high school kid who made me feel welcome in a new home. I feel so blessed to say that I’ve seen Israel grow into the man I call friend today. He’s been my longest-running artistic collaborator, band mate, and sounding board for creative output. We’ve travelled hundreds of miles to shows and festivals, and talked through the deeper things of life throughout. Izzy’s the guy who loves to surprise you, but never shows off. Talented musician aside- he’s always eager to learn everything, and once he does- he unleashes his new found skill at whatever he find to do in the most understated way possible. Just to watch your jaw hit the floor in amazement. He’s a great listener, with understanding that far exceeds his years, and will be the most steadfast friend you could hope to have. So back off. He’s mine.
Ah, the brother I never knew I wanted. I never had someone to wrestle with, make bleed, or otherwise beat up on in the name of masculine fun until Mike came along. Our first time hanging out involved him hurling his sandals at me from across a parking lot. He rekindled my love of the outdoors, community, adventure… and beyond the beatings became one of my closest friends. Late nights and laughter, complimented with way too much coffee, lead to sharing life in all it’s complexity and splendor. And he still won’t go away. He keeps ruining my comfort zones. Because of his prodding- I made the connections to finally fulfill a lifelong dream and go to Japan. How dare he? Because of his friendship- I have a slew of new friends, laughter-soaked memories, and I get to be exceptionally proud of him as he trains to become a missionary in perhaps the hardest places on earth. His heart to bring hope there is beyond inspiring. The nerve of this guy, right?
The guy is a quiet genius. Artist, amateur theologian, husband, father, soldier… He’s always working on something new and seemingly impossible. And he treats each self-assigned task like it’s nothing. I had the privilege of being the music for Ward’s wedding ceremony a few years ago, and am still honored to have both he and his lovely bride as good friends to this day. Always hospitable- if there’s any way possible to help if someone asks- he finds it without exception. Ward once told me that he and I had that brotherly rapport that happens every once in a rare turn. He’s right. He’s always had the ability to be completely, unabashedly honest with me without being mean. His insight has been invaluable on more than one occasion. Especially the day he told me to get off my butt and ask Harley out. I think he was right about that. I asked her out the next day, so this wedding thing is totally his fault. Like I said… genius.
I was his best man at his own wedding recently. I asked Mike, “I’ve never been a best man before. Is there something special I should be preparing for?”. His reply- “Fog machine. Lasers. Eye of the Tiger.” That’s Mike. He is the mad scientist and master chef rolled into one. He’s the guy who listens to everything you have to say, and then explains your deepest, most hidden intention in a ten-word sentence. Mike’s insight is precious to everyone who’s got him in their friends roster. He’s a servant to everyone he knows, giving what he’s got if he’s got it, period. That, and he’s just plain fun to talk to. He and I can pretty much run a single funny thing into the ground, examining it in hilarious ways, back and forth like a tennis match. And others just sort of stare, dumbfounded. We get a kick out of that, too. Mike’s an engineer in disguise as well. Seriously, I don’t know why he’s not designing space shuttles or tanks or power grids or something. Probably because they’d have to have pyrotechnics and Tesla coils playing 80’s theme songs just for fun.
Another I’ve been blessed to not only see growing into a man, but have stood by his side at his own wedding this year, as he married Harley’s sister Cory. So i guess he’ll be my Reggie-in-law? Is that how that works? Reggie’s the guy you simply can’t help but be proud of. In the past year, he’s taken on multiple jobs- and not just professionally. Husband and father come to mind, and I’m pretty sure the courage to assign yourself both at once, as young as he is, requires a medal or something in recognition. Maybe I’ll make him one. It’s been amazing to see him grow stronger in faith and strength. Humble, with that sort of quiet determination everyone who’s gotten to know him has to applaud. He and I have shared the burden of getting to know and work toward acceptance by Harley and Cory’s family, so we’ve been able to encourage one another in that arduous, painful, grueling task as well. That last sentence had some jokes in it. But his willingness to stand up there with me as I too marry into that clan gives me some hope that I won’t probably die as a result. So that’s good.