Their arms were interlocked the whole three minutes. Two people, one on each end asking them questions- making them aware of what they were signing up for. A family of four, making one decision- giving up their lives, publicly. Tears ran down the mother’s face as she tightened her grip of her daughters tiny arm as it wrapped around hers. They reached towards their noses, inhaled deeply, ready for what what to come- they were sucked under current- without air.
Dead- to their old selves.
A woman in her 60’s, dressed in her leopard print vest and gold necklace stepped into the water. Her gray hair, styled with flair. She clearly hadn’t anticipated her current decision. She hadn’t dressed for the occasion-
-or perhaps she had.
She looks back and forth between the two individuals firing
questions, considerations, and truths as her moist eyes overfilled. She was stepping into something unknown- this she knew. She was plunged under and a new yoke was strapped on over her vest.
I watched as people died to themselves. I watched as they were brought to life through living, holy water. I watched as those observing smiled and cried and watched others watching.
Dying to yourself. Putting your pride aside- submitting to your maker. There is something so beautiful in the act of baptism.
As I watched the family, I could sense what appeared to be fear on their faces. They looked as though they were being asked to give up their lives, brutally. The way the parents held onto their children’s arms caused me to feel uneasy. I had to remind myself of where I was and what was happening before me. It made me look deeper still, perhaps, they did give up their lives, brutally. Perhaps they were truly dying. Perhaps they were experiencing this on a level that is easy to skip over, while we are trying to focus on the Joy that this act also brings.
As they were raised from the water, tears-water-new life streamed over their skin. They smiled at each other, they embraced, they left as one with Christ.