An unholy moment

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I have at friend at church who’s not a whole picnic. In saying that she’s amazing empathic and caring about people, remembering friends long past that I can barely recall.  What she does have is  a gift for is saying the most amazing things at inappropriate times.  Today was no exception.

We had a double adult baptism, a rare thing at our church and more special by  the woman involved opting for a full body immersion instead of the sprinkling on of water.  It meant that everyone at church met up at a member’s swimming pool for the ceremony.

An adult baptism, unlike infant one, is a very special event as the person involved gets to speak for themselves.  For infants it can only be a symbol of their future acceptance of the faith, in an adult it’s a symbol of the faith they now confess to the church body their family and friends.  An adult baptism is very affirming for everyone present.

Today was the first day of sunshine and warm weather after a week of overcast and drizzle. Some of the band took acoustic instruments so we had live music and a friend of the two women sang.  It was lovely.  I sat in the shade with my friend as the minister and the two women affirmed their faith around the pool and then jumped in for the actual baptism.  We all stood, several hundred of us, in total silence as one by one the women were baptised and prayed over.

Now if I had just been a little smarter, a little faster.  If I could have looked at the splashing water of the pool and considered the empathic nature of my friend I may have pick up on how that may have affected her.  But caught up in the moment I didn’t notice her distress until, out of the silence, I hear my friend’s voice.  In her normally loud, but in the moment booming voice.

“Derese, I need to go to the toilet.”

You’ll be happy to know we didn’t sprinkle any more holy water than was necessary.

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