Leading a neighborhood study can direct you into some unchartered waters…like the time I was asked to baptize one of our girls in the middle of winter! Well, I am not a pastor or clergy person of any kind. I don’t wear a robe or a collar; I don’t sing in a choir or alone; and I don’t baptize people! So, I said NO. I WILL NOT DO THAT! I AM NOT QUALIFIED. But, she persisted. My sweet Iranian friend, who had come to know Christ at my table, and the fellowship of the Saints at our neighborhood Bible study, would not give up.
So, I began looking for Scripture to show her why I could not possibly baptize her. When I failed to find it, I began asking my more versed friends why I could not baptize her. When they failed to tell me, I began asking God to show her why I could not be the one. Well, the Word, my friends, and our God all failed me on this one. When at last she began pleading with me with those beautiful liquid brown eyes and in that lyrical soft voice (Lisa comes out Leeza, so much better), I caved in. You would have too! And, we began planning a baptism in our study!
Without a baptismal, where do you go? There were too many of us to crowd into a bathroom for a good dunking. And it was too cold to go into the lake. So, we decided on one of the girl’s outdoor hot tubs, and set a date!
And what a date we had! We all gathered around her and prayed. We read Scripture to her and over her. We laughed and we cried. And then, she and I stepped up and into that hot tub, and I had the awesome privilege of baptizing her, based on her profession of faith in Jesus as her Lord and Savior, in the name of the Father, Son, and Holy Spirit. I will never forget it. Though I do not remember exactly what I said, I will never forget the feeling of having my hands on my Sister, guiding her body into the water, and lifting her up again. My heart was so full. It doesn’t get much better than that.
Maybe I will start wearing a robe…would make getting dressed much simpler!
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