Jibstay

Wednesday, August 30, 2006

Remind me again






Remind me again who I am. It is amazing how many different signals we receive in the course of any day about our identity. Check your emails to sort the varieties of identies you have: investor, insured, impotent, traveler, book reader, music listener, commmittee member, group leader, husband, father, mother, wife, son, daughter, student, teacher....... I prayed with her the night before surgery, after she broke her hip, but kept forgetting it due to Alzheimer's, and would move her leg creating lightening bolts of pain. "You are a precious child of God" I whispered as I prayed for her. In the early hours of the morning, hearing the news from Isaac that he survived an armed robbery while walking, I fell back into a nervous sleep being reminded that he is not mine, we gave him away at the font.
This past summer in our travels to churches in southern France, I found myself magnetically drawn to the fonts in every romanesque church. There they stood, usually at the back, in a back apse, in the narthex, affixed to a wall. They acted as a frame to the whole nave, reminding worshipers of who they are: washed, redeemed, claimed and named children of God. In the infant baptismal mode, this happens not by the child's choosing, but by the parents', families' and community's choice. They choose to give that child a name and identity beyond ethnicity or class or achievement and proficiency. In fact, the audaciousness of infant baptism is that the child brings absolutely nothing to the font, not even their will or cognition. They are claimed first, and have a chance to respond later in confirmation.
As I wandered church after church, snapping pictures of countless fonts, I wondered, how many hundreds or even thousands of children were given their names and identities here? How many remembered them when the flames of persecution burned hot or they entered the dark nights of the soul?
Remind me who I am again.

1 Comments:

At 8:39 PM , Anonymous Anonymous said...

7 years ago I was asking "Who am I?" after I had a hysterctomy, wondering if who I am was tied to something I no longer had. The Holy Spirit blessed me when the Immediate Answer to my question was "A child of God." Sure, I am many other things: mother, wife, teacher, cancer survivor, daughter, friend, musician, but I still always take comfort in that answer that came to me so strong, when it was Truth and what I needed to hear. I pray that others reading this will know, deep inside their soul, that more than anything else, they are a precious child of God. D

 

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