Tuesday, November 23, 2010
No Greater Joy
Sunday night, two of my children said, "Yes!" Before hundreds, they affirmed their belief in a risen Savior and joined the swelling ranks of those who have gone before. Through misty eyes, I tried to navigate my emotions. Joy, definitely, in seeing my children seek the Lord's will for their lives. Peace, too, in knowing that their future is in His hands.
And gratitude. Yes, much gratitude. Gratitude for the community of believers that took part in this joy-filled celebration. My bleary eyes scanned the faces. Dear family. Johnny and Brooke with little Kinsley, visiting from Slovenia. Amazing, the Lord's timing, to bring them here just in time for a baptism service. My sister and her family -- a sweet baby smiling from mama's arms -- the embraces, affirmations, and joyful cousins. My husband's family, with sister-in-law expecting number five at any moment, making the jaunt from north county, celebrating with more cousins. Our precious parents and siblings -- the kids' grandparents, aunts and uncles -- juggling various offspring, passing communion precariously through rows bursting with kids (guided by Aidan's helpful commentary, "Here comes the juice!").
My dear friends. Nodding smiles and attempts at silent conversation across the room (joy just makes a person talk, you know). My children's friends, being there to cheer them on, friends that have gone before and stepped into those waters, and friends that have yet to touch those waters yet surely will. My pastor. He who led me through my first job at the church office, he who led Jamie and me through our pre-marital counseling, he who led us through our vows and the dedication of children. He continuing to lead with wisdom and humility.
The faces brought joy and a glimpse of the holy, as eyes and spirits were alight with the warmth of some thirty believers saying "Yes!" to their King. The faces before me continued to bring joy as I witnessed the baptism of three young adults whom I once babysat. These beautiful, eloquent believers, no longer playing tea party and dress up with my sister and me (although I'm sure we all would if given the chance!). No -- they have grown. And they, too, are saying "Yes!"
And two more, most precious faces. My Bethie, smiling over at her Daddy who had "the best seat in the house" behind the video camera. And my Drew, thoughtful and serious, grasping the weight of this momentous occasion. Indeed, I have no greater joy than to hear that my children are walking in the truth.
Photos by Donna Hafer