It was an extra-special Easter in our household. On Maundy Thursday, Brady read scripture in church for the first time, and sat through the service with us. He was enamored with the ordination of the Lord's Supper and was devastated to the point of tears that he couldn't participate. John gently explained that it was for Christians, followers of Christ, and that he had not yet been baptized. We had noticed, however, that he had been filling out a weekly information card at church and had been marking that he wanted to be baptized, so we weren't surprised when he replied that he wanted to be baptized (right then, in fact). He brought it up again on Saturday, so we got out his Bible and read about Jesus' baptism and tried to explain the big concept of salvation in 6-year-old friendly terms. Then he affirmed again that he wanted to become a Christian and be baptized, and agreed to pray with us. The sweet thing to me is that he asked if we had been baptized, and John and I shared our stories. I was Brady's age at my baptism and told him that I was a little scared, but it was a special experience and that I was not scared once it was over. So in Brady's prayer, he prayed, "Dear God, please help me to never be scared again!"
Oh, the sweetness of a child's faith! I pray that God will always give him this courage to take steps of faith, to act out of his kind heart, regardless of what the world may throw at him.
What an extraordinary gift as a minister (who is also married to another minister) to lead our child in faith. What a terrifying experience as well. I know the cost, and I fear the doubts and obstacles he will face. I sometimes wish my faith was simpler, or more solid. I struggled to find the words, the language to encapsulate faith. I often joke that it would be much easier to be a fundamentalist. I could throw around phrases like "washed by the blood, saved by the lamb" without cringing. I could talk about "asking Jesus into your heart" without feeling a little like a fraud. It used to be second nature, until seminary, when faith was torn apart and reconstructed into something else...more nebulous. Oh, I love Jesus, and I trust him with all my heart, but somehow, the words are still a struggle. Faith is just so big that it's hard to share what it all means. That is my stumbling block.
Yet, I think I'll shine when he comes to me with his doubts, when he questions his faith. That is a path I've walked, and found God's solace and presence on the other side. I can live in the mystery much more than the certainty. May Brady find a way to walk in both worlds, surrounded by a great cloud of witnesses: our family, our church family, and others who will mentor and guide him along the way.
Thanks be to God.