I have written many times about my baptismal experience. The core of the message is that little did I realize in those moments the depth of rebirth I was experiencing. Little did I know that I would be reborn many times over.
It saved me in more ways than one. Before my “conversion experience” twenty-four years past I lived by anger and conflict. It was me against a cruel world until I wore out. I changed my life with baby steps. I married. We had fraternal twin boys, joined a church … you know the drill.
Those twin boys grew until they began to obtain driver’s licenses, have girlfriends and go places without us on a regular basis. Often I've wondered why they showed little interest in “joining the church” or being baptized. I would ask and teach but each seemed ambivalent other than a rather liberal take on religion in general. We have encouraged questions and exploration. We seek each day to ingrain in them a sense of inclusivity and a “cosmo-centric” worldview yet I yearned for the passage into commitment … belief … faith.
Last year in the midst of a grueling protocol of chemotherapy one son told his mother he’d like to be baptized in the lake my wife called “Heaven Lake”. We have traveled there each year for 12 or 13 years to camp with friends and raft white water. Ironically it started on a church trip. We have continued to go even though the church trips have stopped.
My wife and her teacher had taught my son to meditate to help him with the side effects. They told him to imagine a place of peace where he felt lifted, calmed … healed. He chose “Dream Lake”.
Last week we went there and the same man that held them up to the church as infants baptized them in that lake. That man is a friend of mine and I’m afraid I don’t claim many. Twenty or so folks stood on the bank and watched. We sang “Amazing Grace” and a few sang a verse of “We Shall Gather At the River”.
It wasn’t done at the church we attend in front of that community of faith but I got a feeling God’s ok with it. Some were from the church … some weren’t but we were all in that cathedral of nature. We were all witness to these youth being washed in the spirit. We are all better for it and once more I was "born again."