Sunday, May 30, 2010
I don't do well in crowded places....
I know it is a strange title for a post about my little boy's Baptism, but I hope I can explain adequately.
Yesterday was a very special day for our family, especially Ethan, the day of his Baptism. It is a day I did not know if I would ever see. Religion and faith has always been a touchy and deeply personal subject, even more so since I chose a husband who was raised in a vastly different way, faith, culture and country and it has never been something taken lightly (which I am deeply grateful for!) In my chosen faith, children are baptized generally when they reach eight years old. It is recognized that at this age children really start to make choices on their own and should have learned right from wrong and what it means to be responsible for their choices. For my husband, deciding ones religion, I think is a very adult choice, something I don't think he thought one would be mature enough to make at such a tender age. Not so long ago, he was resolute that our children were not going to be given the choice until they were older, perhaps, I think, until they were 16, when they would be legally an adult in the UK. I knew one thing, and that was that he thought eight was too young, and there are very few things in this world that can change the mind of this stubborn man I so deeply love.
Several months ago (perhaps quite longer, but this is when I really started to notice it), Ethan, who was already eight, started to express, in his very limited communication, how strongly he felt about baptism. More specifically that he WANTED to be baptized. Every time the very word was mentioned he would start dancing in his wheelchair, turn to look at me with pleading eyes saying "I want..." one of the few phrases he is able to articulate. I noticed at this time, just how frequently baptism was talked about. I told him that I knew what he wanted, acknowledging that I understood, but that he needed both parents permission and that his daddy did not think that it was a choice that children his age should be making and that he should talk to his dad about it. I fully did not expect the events that would transpire in the matter of days and hours that would follow, that adamant opposition would end in a change of heart, that my husband's greatest weakness (or strength, however you choose to look at it), this very special little boy, had the power and conviction in him to change a resolute mind. Now I really don't think it was just Ethan alone, maybe angels, but I definitely believe that fasting and prayer played a part in it, and faith above all else....and believe me when I tell you this little boy's faith truly did move mountains!
He talked to his dad, mostly with his eyes, and those few short words said in the purest sincerity, "I want...". It wasn't even slowly, though it seemed in slow motion, he went from the answer, "when you are 14," to "when you are 12," to "when you are 10," Ethan's eyes must have been so pleading speaking to my husband's heart, because then something I completely did not expect happened, he said, "I can see this is something that is very important to you, and you have been so persistent that I know you really want it, so I know it is what you really want, so you can be baptized if you want."
You have never seen a more happy and excited boy.
A lot transpired between then and now, but yesterday was the day. Nervous and excited rolled in to one neat little package and I had to put it in the Lord's hands because it was beyond my capacity to handle everything, to contain all that was going through me. More people came than I expected....but despite a large turnout, the room felt unusually packed, and me in crowds don't usually mix well....perhaps I have a social anxiety disorder....generally I would have the urge to bolt, but I was at peace in this room that was so full of love and support, surrounding this little angel, who was the one person in the world that could open the door for his brother and sisters to make the same choices for them selves if they decide they want to. I often wonder what his mission and purpose is in life, and I KNOW WITHOUT A DOUBT IN MY HEART that THIS was one of his important missions, one of the reasons he was sent here to bless our lives, just one more thing to convince me that we are never alone, we are always in the presence of angels, even angels unaware.