Thursday, March 10, 2011

before the 40 days...

Heavy with child, I wade careful into the water. Grey hair, grandfatherly concern, he takes my hand to be sure of balanced footing. I'm twenty. I have loved God as long as I can remember, yet never have I waded into these tepid waters.

I turn shy and look through the faces of our congregation for the father of my child. He is there. And he smiles... encourages.

I turn toward wrinkled eyes and wispy grey hair and nod. He asks if I would like to say anything. I do. I can't remember my spoken words, but I remember the heart, the spirit guiding. I feel gentle movement of the little one hidden in the warm liquid of my womb, gently lifted in the waters surrounding me.

I think of Him, Jesus. Him, led by His Father (our Father) to His cousin. John invites the repentant into cool waters of the Jordan. A voice of one calling in the wilderness, Prepare the way for the Lord, make st
raight paths for him. (Matthew 3:3) I baptize you with water for repentance. [John says] But after me comes one more powerful than I, whose sandals I am not worthy to carry... (Matthew 3:11)

Jesus, Son of God, Son of man, God walking the soil of His created Earth. He approaches John for baptism. Jesus colors outside of humanity's line. He, perfect and holy. He, righteous and just. John, unsure, tried to deter him, saying I need to be baptized by you... (Matthew 3:14). Jesus knows the why. He explains to his cousin. And John consents.

I hear the pastor. "I baptize you, my sister, in the name of the Father, the Son, and Holy Spirit." I hold my breath, buried in warm waters, only for a moment. He helps me find the ground underneath me again, and I stand. He helps me climb the steps toward a woman waiting with a towel.

I recall... And a voice from Heaven said, "This is my Son, whom I love; with him I am well pleased." (Matthew 3:17).

And I pray silent... I hope you are well pleased with me, my Father.

And Jesus walks toward the wilderness... for 40 days.


Jan Parrish said...


Sharen Watson said...

Thank you, Jan :-) Do you remember when you were baptized?