I remember sitting in my Grandmother’s twin cab two toned navy Chevy Pickup.

I was 10. She was driving me to school. We were about to pass the little cattle barn, a run-down shack on the side of the road. It was the mental and physical beginning of the three mini bridges that you had to cross over before coming to an open field. The first and last bridges were wide. The middle narrow on a curve.

I was sick to my stomach. Ready to assert myself.

I stared out the window. The butterflies fluttered. I suppressed them with my new found courage. My new found independence.

Before the cows  I told myself.

I sucked it up looked out the windows on the impeding cows and said  “I don’t believe in God!”

Thats right & I said it.

My Grandma, in her unwavering German stoic stance, snapped by “Yes you do.”

————–

I sat in Church, a place where I have found a new found peace. Solace. Radiance.

“We are having water baptisms today. If you’d like to come up, please do. We have heaps of towels” the pastor said.

It was as if I was in a movie. His eyes focused on me, as though they were the camera lens he was speaking into. I couldn’t shake it.

“But I can’t. I promised Anne that I would only get baptised if she was here” I said to myself. Trying to suppress the radiating, insurmountable drive to walk up in my red dress.

It was earlier that morning that I dropped off Anne’s car. As I hopped on my scooter I said to her “I am going to church tonight at 6pm if you want to come along. I know you’ve never come to mine, but yeah I’ll be going.”

Thinking nothing of it, I scooted off.

I tried to shove the pull/urge/drive to jump in the baptism pool. It was me, the Pastor. Me and God.

But I can’t Anne isn’t here.

I couldn’t concentrate on the song. The stage lights blinding me. My heart racing.

Wait, what was that. Who is touching me?

I looked down.

Anne. She came to the service.

Shocked.

I lean over, euphoric  “I am ready. I am ready Anne” I said.

She looked at me. With a smile on her face. She took my hand and led me to the front of the church in my red dress.

“Please write your name down” the lady said. My mind was spinning. My hands trembling. I just knew that I was meant to be doing this. It was me. Me and God. The 1,000+ people watching me didn’t mean anything to me. It could have been a million or 1 and I still would have done it.

I walked up. Peace reigned over me.

I slowly walked into the pool. I was ready.

“Before we start, I have to ask you a question” the man said. I was being held by two lovers of Christ. Of God. They were strong.

“Do you accept Jesus Christ as your Saviour?” he says into my ear. The worship music kept going. Suspended to watch me take a huge step in my life. To inspire others. To show that faith isn’t planned, that sometimes even music/worship is to be modified.

“Yes” I said holding back tears. It was my final release.

Forgiveness for my sins. Forgiveness for hating my body at times. Forgiveness for my 10 year old profession.

A profession. A cleanse. A statement.

I leaned back.

I was baptised. In my dress. In front of Anne.

In front of God.

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