Let me set the scene.
It's Easter Sunday. The day has dawned clear, blue and bright. It's a day of celebration, a day of hope. It's a day to shake off the sadness of Friday. It's a day of resurrection. It's a day for baptism.
Farmer Boy and Will are the first ones. The first ones on this day to descend the steps into our church's baptistry. I'm holding my breath, nervous, waiting, watching. I'm surrounded by my dear sweet friends, my adopted family. They are beside me, in front of me and behind me. We are all sitting together, eagerly waiting, eagerly anticipating a celebration.
We see them. They are coming down the steps. Father and son, so similar in appearance, in carriage, there is no doubt that one belongs to the other. As I watch them get settled in the water, I'm hit by a memory. It's so brief and so real I grab my own hand a little tighter. I see the tears Farmer Boy shed the day Will was born. He was overcome that day. Will lay on my chest and as Farmer Boy gazed, taking in his newborn son, tears formed in his eyes.
Today will be another birth. Will Farmer Boy make it through? As I watch and wait, Will unfolds his paper, bows his head and begins to read. I hear something like, "I've been a Christian all my life, known that God loves me all my life. I want to follow him. I want to glorify him." There are more words but my heart is pounding into my ears and I'm not hearing.
Now it's Farmer Boy's turn. He looks out at all of us and tells us how much he loves Will and how proud he is. His voice is strained and I wonder if he will have to pause. He doesn't. He keeps going. He tell us how Will had come to us to ask about being baptized and how we had sat down with him and asked him some questions. He turns away from us, the congregation, at this point and looks at Will. He tells Will that even though he is young, he is sure Will knows enough right now to be baptized. He tells Will that there are many unknown things ahead, things that will test him, but if Will continues to hold on to Jesus he will make it through. No matter what he will make it with Jesus's help.
He pauses. He grabs Will. He pushes him under the water and then he pulls him back up. They stand side by side. Father and son. They turn in silence, Farmer Boy leads the way and Will follows up the steps and out of the baptistry.
I finally exhale.
To celebrate we headed down south to where Farmer Boy grew up. It was an afternoon spent with Grandma, Grandpa and cousins. There was ham and scalloped potatoes, cake and ice cream. There was a hunt for Easter eggs and time outside tromping around the pasture. An afternoon of clear blue sky, sunshine, fresh air and family.
The ride home was quiet. I think we were all worn out from the story of the day.
Thank you Lord for your gift of our story.