Today Princess Imagination is being baptized. She is almost seven, more than a year younger than I was when I made the same decision. She’s quite proud of that – something she’s doing before I did it – but that’s not her motivation. She is being baptized because she loves Jesus and wants to fully participate in the family of God. As dysfunctional as I sometimes feel that family is, I am nothing but happy that she wants to formalize her membership in it. For one thing, she can only make it better. For another, the simplicity and beauty of her desire reminds me of the simplicity and beauty of a sacrament that turns plain water into a powerful, identity-changing symbol.
It’s so easy to forget. But today, I am remembering.
Breathing my Baptism
The slightest drop of your immensity
floods over me
and lifts me off my self-sure footing.
The ground on which I stood
a labor of thoughts
dissolves in swirling currents.
There is no place for kicking feet to stand
no life raft to construct
from illusions of my self-sufficiency.
A baptism of consciousness
and I am drowned
beneath the surface of a sea of Love.
I am inside the waters now
and fear is gone,
or in the least it does not fill my lungs.
I find they are transformed to breathe anew
not cold, thin air
but Breath of Life that makes me new.
And when I rise again above the waves
I do not gasp
or gulp for what I craved before submerged.
New life, a Truth both real
and beyond words
flows through my veins like water through the world.