It’s a baptism!
Parents raise their children with great hope. For my husband and me, the hope took an eternal form, a holy passion to spend forever with the little ones we’d progenerated. We were an average family, but intensely significant to one another. Over the childhood years, our two daughter’s unique faces, the timbre of their voices, their idiosyncrasies of temperament—every weird thing from the firstborn’s constant singing to the fact that the young one’s feet tended to overheat—lodged itself into our hearts, stuck there with emotional superglue. And so, bonded to one another like love bugs we floated toward heaven on strains of Jesus Wants Me for a Sunbeam.
Then hormones hit, with their biological brainwash of, “If you want to retain your sanity, divorce your parents and their religion!” The oldest wavered but stayed with faith; the young one cast it to the wind. My moaning prayers filled many a silent night, and my mother’s heart strained to breaking. More stoical, their father just shook his head and assured me I’d been a good mom. At eighteen, the prodigal daughter came home for a short time, but lured back by the sirens of pop culture she strayed, came back, and strayed again.
Two months ago I went out to the road. You know the road. Parents of wandering kids go there every day. With my weakening eyes I looked to the last place my child had dropped beyond the horizon. I pulled into focus a dot, a little, moving unit. Could it be her? I heard a voice, a quaver, that same cry that bolted me out of bed in her infancy. It was her! The prodigal was coming home.
I lost all composure. I ran. My lungs began to burn, but if they’d bled I wouldn’t have cared. Poise and tranquility failed me. Yes, I’d seen the little dot on the road before, and rejoiced before, only to feel crushing disappointment again and again. But somehow I couldn’t refuse the hope that this would be different. And indeed it was different, because she said, “I want to be baptized.”
Baptism means “immersion.” The Bible teaches full immersion baptism, and thankfully my church practices it. This powerful ritual symbolizes the death and burial of the old man and rebirth of the new. A public event, baptism requires a deep commitment to high standards of obedience. The point: this is a huge step for Kimberly Dawn Schwirzer, the answer to countless prayers, and a gala high Sabbath for heaven and earth.
And you’re invited! March 13, 11AM, 8700 Germantown Ave, Philadelphia, PA. Lunch at the Schwirzer’s afterwards. R.S.V.P. so we can make enough food.
Rejoicing with all heaven over one sinner who repents,