The Tightly Stitched Gathering of God

“Payton,” I say, “I was baptized when I was seven, too.”

In my memories I don’t see myself—the permed blonde frizz on my head, the teeth too big for my skinny face, the courage I must have held to have chosen such a thing at such an age.What I remember is the room of believers who loved me, who sat in silence in the pews I gazed out into.

I recall the feel of Brother Shad’s hand on my back and my awkward tilt into the water. I remember what it felt like to know that I had chosen Jesus because he had tugged me to himself.

How did I know such a thing then? How did I believe?

In the service, I stand at a microphone to the side. I say, “On behalf of the Board of Elders, I present to you …” And I introduce them one at a time. But it’s Payton whose name chokes me up. She stands from her seat and walks alone the few short steps to the altar where the Holy Spirit hovers over the water.

It is so ordinary and mysterious and we make promises to her and promises to God. And she makes promises also, with the simple faith I recognize as once my own.

 

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Today I'm over at SheLoves Magazine, thinking about the beauty of baptism and young faith.

 

 

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