The memory is hazy but the impression lingers to this day.
Sitting in my parents' bedroom as my mom stood before their closet. Two piles of clothes on the floor, one for her and one for my dad. She was trying to figure out what they should wear for their baptism that night.
My parents decided to leave the Catholic church when I was a few years old. We landed at a charismatic church, quite different from the traditional liturgy they'd been raised on. My first memories of church are Sunday School at this new church, my only knowledge of Catholicism amassed from family get togethers.
I knew that I had been baptized as a baby. There were pictures to prove it. My mom explained that she and my dad had been baptized when they were babies as well. They were realizing this was not enough.
Tonight they would stand before their church and proclaim their faith. I don't remember mom's exact words but can still picture her shining face, alive with her beliefs, alive with her love for God.
She stood among the piles of clothes, weighing the wisdom of a bathing suit and t-shirt or perhaps a garbage bag with holes cut for head and arms. But it wasn't the wearing that mattered so much, as the wording of faith made public. Even as ones that had been sprinkled as babes, my parents saw this as a step to grow and a way of owning their relationship with Christ.
I don't know that I was present for their baptisms. For whatever reason, mom explaining their decision mattered more to my memory than the action itself.
Several years later I would choose to be baptized at another church. My moment of owning my faith. It is no coincidence that my parents' decision planted the seeds for my own.
When it was my turn, I went in with a t-shirt and workout shorts. Though soaked with the weight of a robe, I left the baptismal with a light heart.
Giving Up on Perfect, a series of memories and posts as we approach Lent.
Do you have any memories of baptism? What are your thoughts on baby baptism vs. adult baptism? I have many friends across the spectrum on this.