I went to the visitation tonight for a woman who (along with her twin sister!) once was my Sunday School teacher, was the mother of one of my high school friends, and was one of those saints who signed on to be a youth counselor. I never ever get too old to still be a child of that church. I enjoyed reconnecting with friends I haven't seen in many years and with friends who walked through Dad's illness and death with us. Same friends who have sat through long surgeries with us and have shown up at the hospital in the middle of the night when there's a crisis. I mostly see these folks now at funeral related events.
While thinking of these fine- salt of the earth, big wide open hearted folks, I thought of this journal entry from last year.
Stumbling into the Steadfast 1/19/08
On Sunday Cindy invited folks to share their baptism stories as sort of an interactive part of the sermon. All of the stories were of people's own recollections of their baptisms. In other words, Baptist baptisms. Non infant baptisms. I've had one of each, but didn't choose to share either story. I thought about my adult baptism at Deer Park and the lunch that Joy Lee Foley had afterwards for my parents and all of my friends. But on this particular day, it's that first baptism that touches my heart as I think of it. I, of course, have no memory of it myself but have plenty of pictures of it and a tiny pink New Testament signed by the pastor who baptized me to prove that it happened. My parents look very confident and happy in the pictures. I look very clueless. But it mattered. The people of my little church took very seriously the vows they made to me that day, as did my parents. For the second baptism, I had a decision to make and an aisle to walk and a life to surrender. For the first one, I just had to show up. The members of that little church made promises to me that day- and 50 years later I can say that they have kept every one. I have been loved and prayed for and clucked over all my life by the people of Clifton Heights Methodist and later Fern Creek United Methodist. I have been a sweet little girl, an unattractive and maladjusted 10 year old, an attention seeking teen, and a totally absent and inattentive adult to them, but they have remained steadfast in their commitment to me.