Thursday, April 5, 2012

pondering my baptism

a facebook friend shared these texas bluebonnets
a touch of color, a hint of hope on
this thursday of holy week.

so i've been pondering my baptism...

i was five when i was baptized
so i remember
sounds, smells, words....
the water rolling down
my burr topped hair.

i wiped it from my eyes
while my mother pulled my hand
away from my face.

i know she only wanted that
i appropriately stand before the
congregation with decency and order...

but now as i think about it
her action allowed that
water to trickle down my head
onto my neck
and down towards my heart.

i was washed in grace
i know that now
and am thankful
that my mother's
unintentional wisdom
allowed GOD's grace to soak in good.

in some way my mother and father
knew this gift of grace
seeping down into my body and soul
would be the healing balm
the awakening agent
the freeing salve
in my life.

i was baptized.
a sacrament
a gift from God
filled with grace
we call unconditional

i was baptized.
a covenant
GOD spoken
by the people of GOD.

i was baptized.

before my full life story
would have time to unfold
i was doused with water
pregnant with symbolism
of what GOD had
already done.

so as my story unfolds...
come to find out
i was gay when i stood before the congregation
with a burr topped head
with water rolling down my body
and i am gay now
as i continue to live
the covenant spoken on my behalf
and confirmed by my own words
of affirmation...

it seems
it feels
the vows spoken by the particular congregation
who gathered to baptize me
have been revoked:

"we really didn't mean
to baptize one like you...
we really don't like
how your life story
has unfolded."

i remain baptized...
i affirm that.
my parents affirm that.

i remain in the firm grip of
GOD'S unconditional grace...
i celebrate that.

but now i know
what so many others have discovered
by other church's inability
to fulfill the covenant vows they once spoke
with children and their families.

and though it hurts...
this too i sense
deepens the hold
of GOD'S grace
in my life. 

for one reminded me today:
"you were not baptized in the name of the church
you were baptized in the name of the
one who breathed life into you
and continues to breathe
that you might love and be loved."

so despite decisions and opinions
of current leaders in the church
where i was baptized
i remain
a beloved
child of GOD

for GOD created me
the church did not

and GOD loves me
when the church
decides it can no longer.

and this is yet one more step in
the week we call HOLY.

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