My church does baptism in a pond behind our church once a year, on Father’s Day. It’s always beautiful and holy and amazing. Ryan was baptized in “the pond” in 2009 and so this time of year holds a special place in our heart. It’s even more meaningful this year to me because, see that new construction in the background? Our church has been giving specifically, (Uncommon Campaign) so that more people can have seats to hear about Jesus, because even with three campuses, we are still busting at the seams. It’s happening. There will be room for more people and that means, even more people in the pond. I love this place!!
After an awesome message, we celebrated Father’s Day with lunch and then dropped Ryan back off at church to serve at baptism. On the way home, the girls and I stopped at a farmers market to buy some fresh peaches. There was also shaved ice for the girls. They picked Bubble-Gum flavor and it was bright red. Cammie was wearing a white dress and as expected, she got it ALL over the dress, but I didn’t care, because I always have my secret laundry weapon – bleach. I have a weird fondness for bleach. It gets out everything. Filthy laundry, the deepest, darkest, dirtiest stains and even red snow cone syrup – they all come out. Every time. Anything can become bright white again.
My husband is at the pond right now witnessing the miraculous. Even though I can’t be there, my mind has been at the church pond for over a week and is still there now. I could feel the excitement stirring for days leading up to this moment. I have seen indescribable joy in the eyes of those who have decided to follow Jesus. At five o’clock tonight, when baptism was starting – I pictured the faces, the tears and the feet of over 350 people taking their first steps into the water and into a journey that will change their lives forever. As the water flows over their faces and prayers are spoken a loud, I whisper a prayer that they will feel God’s grace all over them… and everyday for the rest of their lives.
As I was washing Cammie’s dress tonight, I watched as I touched the tip of the brush with bleach to the red spots on the dress. It was almost instantly white again. I dipped the dress under the water and when it came back up out of the water, it looked like new again.
Baptism doesn’t save us. It doesn’t make us clean, or perfect, or holy. But, it shows the world that Jesus is our savior and when we have him in our lives, we are forgiven of the the dirt and the filth that has stained our lives. He makes our dirtiest, clean again. We will still mess up. We are still human, but we have Jesus – forever! When we accept him, we should do something outwardly for what he has done for us on the inside. That’s what 350 people decided to do today in front of a watching world!! I’ve had goosebumps all day. God is up to something at The Crossing and I’m humbled that our family gets to serve alongside some amazing people who love others and serve God with all their heart.
I stood by the sink holding my little girls clean, white dress – that only minutes before looked like a lost cause, beyond hope, destined for the trash. I was thankful for this picture of His transforming, redeeming and cleansing blood. We were all destined for the trash, on the road marked for death and with a soul that was wounded beyond repair. But when we have a relationship with Jesus – we have hope. His blood heals our scars. We are good as new and white as snow.
Oh! precious is the flow
That makes me white as snow;
No other fount I know,
Nothing but the blood of Jesus.