it has been raining a lot here in houston lately. and, like in a lot of places, sometimes people complain about the rain.
we send one another off with “stay dry!” wishes.
we do not look forward to our hair, faces or clothing feeling, let alone collecting rain.
but what does this mean for those of us who have submitted ourselves to baptism?
for those of us who have been plunged beneath* the waters–
to then be raised again, out of the water as new creation?
what does it mean for us, who when sprinkled with water, are told to
“remember your baptism, and be thankful.”
water is powerful.
in abundance, water changed the shape of rock and earth, creating something that is new.
sometimes this occurs quickly in a flash flood or hurricane.
but sometimes the change water can wrought is through the slow, one drop at a time, trickle creating stalactites taking decades to begin to show visible growth.
change is sometimes instant. change is sometimes slow. but it is still the water powering the change.
walking out into the rain the past few days i choose to remember my baptism as my hair, face and clothing collects drops of the most volatile substance on our planet. i choose to recognize the power of water not merely because of the force it alone carries, but because of what it means to me as a follower of christ. i recognize the power of water but it is the symbol and sign of my death. a death that has already occurred and a death i try to live fully into every day.
it is in that death, in my baptism and the community of the Church, that i find life.
that i find new creation.
that i find the Me i was created to be.
so get out there, let your hair, face and clothing get wet.
and be thankful.
*whether the human body is fully immersed in a body of water or this occurs through the symbol of poured, placed or sprinkled water, it is the same, it is still baptism.
nb–i recognize, also, the health hazards and risk that many of our brothers and sisters who are un-housed or under-housed face with the type and amount of rain we are having in houston these past few days. it is my hope, that when we truly do remember that we have died and been raised with christ that an aspect of remembering our baptism and being thankful is what will propel us forward and out to offer radical hospitality, love and warmth to our brothers and sisters who are vulnerable to the power of water in a way that we–i–am not.