(Note: This was written one week ago, on January 23, 2012)
It’s raining this morning.
Tornadoes are once again on the horizon in the southeast, including in my home state of Alabama, which was rocked not even a year ago by massive storms of wind and lighting.
There is a leak in our shower and every time Rachel gets up and moves I wonder if her water is going to break.
And I find myself thinking, amidst all those images of water, “baptism.”
Honestly, it started Sunday–when the other Associate Pastor mentioned she would be teaching some of the children about baptism. I did not think much of it then, but it was like the word, and the images and thought it carries, burrowed itself under my sub-conscious. And this morning, in the shower of all places, it came pouring out.
I thought of the red steps at the church where I grew up, where I first saw so many baptisms and where I, much to y brother’s aggravation, I answered the questions meant for the parents. (Yes, Jesus is my Lord and savior. Yes, I will raise that child in the faith.)
I thought of the silver basin in the marble font at First pres. Concord–and how that water is always so warm and so clear.
I even began thinking about the baptism of my own son which I guess will happen 2-3 months in the future. Visions of the “Lion King’s” opening scene swirling in my head.
Conventional baptisms those. There’s also the baptism of tears–when sorrow or joy or both in equal measure wash over and something inside you changes deeply. There’s a baptism of no water, of dry mouth and trembling hands, and a dawning recognition that a fresh start is needed. There is, of course, the baptism of fire, the moment when you get thrown in the deep end and discover within a presence guiding and directing you and that was there all along, you just hadn’t ever noticed before.
Baptism, the Presbyterian tradition affirms is an outward sign of an inward reality–a seal of God’s presence with us no matter what, a sign that we belong to God before we could even ask for such acceptance, that we, like the water, are directed by God to fill, whirl, splash, and nurture.
As storms brew, and rain falls, as things leak and anxiety ratchets up, I find that to be helpful.
(Yes, Jesus is My Lord and Savior. Yes, I will raise that child in the faith.)
P.S. the tile of this post is taken from the tile of a song by David Lamotte. It’s a good song/poem and he is a wonderful artist you should check out if you have not already. That is all.