I’ll never forget her name or the way the back of her head looks with the water running down. She stands with her knees slightly bent, leaning into the font and I know some of her story. And I can see by the way she holds herself that receiving the water is about to break her wide open.
Love does that sometimes.
And I have the privilege of standing beside her—of giving the invitation and leading the congregation in their promises to her. It’s the first baptism I have assisted with and I listen to my pastor ask the questions and I see how her eyes glisten too.
I watch as the water flows three times…
In the name of the Father.
And of the Son.
And the Holy Spirit.
We make a promise to her and to each other. And we remember our own baptism.
Of water and spirit…
And after the service I drive down the road a ways to visit another little church that I am invited to—I will be filling the pulpit there soon. It is a sweet little church, with a white steeple and wreaths on the door. I meet Sue the organist, and Nancy who does the children’s time, and John who is looking for work. A couple brings their brand new baby in and we all make over her something wonderful. In the back pew sit three older gentlemen who look as thick as thieves. The pew cushions are red and so is the carpet—with fresh vacuum tracks running through. The stained glass is a soft blend of beige and pink and yellow—delicate—and it folds the sunshine around that place just so.
There aren’t more than fifteen people in attendance but this is family. I am welcomed like a friend and the warmth of their love breaks my heart a little. Part of me is still back at the font and I look at these people through that rosy splash of water and I love them.
The beauty of being a visitor is this: it makes a person miss home. Home is the place we make baptismal promises to one another. And home is the place we keep them.
This week’s memory verse, James 4:14-15:
To download a memory card of James 4:14-15.
Check previous Tuesday posts for prior verses.
This is my day 16 of joining the 31 day-ers. They’ve ignited a fire and the flame of their passion is contagious. I know myself too well to say I’ll post every day…but I promise to try. If it sounds inviting to you and you don’t mind coming late to the party (like me), you can read more about the wave at The Nester’s place. She’s the hostess with the mostest.