It’s been nearly a month since my last post. I’ve started one several times, sitting down to write out a blurb and post a few pictures in reference to Lily’s recent baptism. We had family come and celebrate from out of town. We toasted with old and new friends. But, as is typical in September, life started to run away from me.
When we first approached our pastor about baptizing Lily, he requested a meeting to discuss baby baptism. He asked us, Why? Why do you want to baptize Lily? We gave the standard responses: it’s a rite of passage, it’s an affirmation of faith as parents, it’s the beginning of a lifelong journey. He seemed satisfied, even impressed, with our answers. We scheduled our date.
For many reasons, I don’t talk much about my faith. I don’t talk about it here, in a public forum. I don’t bring it up in conversations unless prompted. As a Methodist, I shy away from evangelism, as an introvert, I withdraw from controversial topics. I rarely talk to the girls about religion, even. I tell Bible stories, and we read from our Children’s bible, but I never talk about praying or praising. We don't memorize scripture. We seem to focus instead on learning our letters and shapes, reading fairy tales, instilling a sharing heart, a happy attitude and proper bathroom etiquette.
And then, two weeks ago, Casey, our beloved seven year old mutt became sick, really sick. I packed up the girls, loaded up the diaper bag, carried Casey to the car and headed out to the vet. While we were waiting for lab results, we walked to Starbucks for some fresh air and a much needed caffeinated afternoon boost. I was tired with a pounding headache, and I was worried about the mounting veterinary bills.
On our way back to the vet, Daisy asked if Casey would be okay. She told me she was nervous and scared. I realized, right then, that it matters not if and when I baptize my children, but to teach them to trust and to praise – no matter our circumstance. Instead of just reassuring Daisy as I normally do, I stopped right there, and we sat down on the curb of the parking lot. My toddler sitting next to me, my newly baptized baby resting in the Ergo, mocha in hand and diaper bag falling off my shoulder. We stopped and we prayed. We gave our worries to God, we prayed for health for Casey, for ourselves. We thanked Him for His goodness. We asked Him to instill joy in our hearts, gratitude for grace and mercy and for the life of Jesus to spill over into our everyday actions.
As we sat on the curb, I recited Psalm 103: Bless the Lord, O my soul, And all that is within me, bless His holy name! And forget not all His benefits; Who forgives all your iniquities; Who heals all your diseases; Who redeems your life from destruction; Who crowns you with loving kindness and tender mercies, Who satisfies your mouth with good things, so that your youth is renewed like the eagle’s.
This is why I baptized my children. I want to teach my girls to pray, no matter where and when. I want to teach Daisy and Lily to trust in the Lord, to hand our worries over to Him. To worship His name. And yes, I don’t need to baptize my girls to do this, but hey, it’s a great reason to drink champagne.
Ps: Casey is now, after much prayer and medication, back to her squirrel chasing, cookie-loving self. It seems that she has Addison’s disease, and was suffering from Addisonian crisis. We are all very happy, and Casey seem to think we should celebrate with a nightly scoop of vanilla ice cream. She usually gets it.