If you haven’t read Part #1 Go Here
Disappointed as Carmella was that the Bouncing House didn’t burst, she had a blast shoving her friends around and falling, almost unable to get up again she was so weak from laughing.
Finally they all lay gasping and laughing. Her head was wet under her hair, from the sweat that heated her scalp. Her loose do mixed with Sue’s as they lay side by side trying to regain their breath.
“Oh Man! It’s almost 2! I better hurry for the baptism!” Beverly scrambled up and hop-stepped over everyone, sliding out the door to get her shoes on. Carmella and Sue did the same. Nadia and Lily, the other two girls, stayed inside, giggling as they watched the guys wrestle before also exiting the blow-up house and getting their shoes on. Of course, Lily had a crush on Jay, only the blindest of the youth group didn’t see it. Carmella tried to speak to her about guarding her heart, but Lily seemed to absorbed to hear anything she ever said. It wasn’t the most comfortable place for Carmella. She heard a few questionable points about Jay’s character from Davin and wanted to keep her friend safe. Letting her friends make their own mistakes was one of the hardest things Carmella ever had to do.
They sat on a row in the bleachers not too far from the blow up pool. One of Davin’s other friends, who worked at the church normally, claimed that pool was only tape and holes.
And they carried the water to fill it in COOLERS!
“Boy am I glad I’m not getting baptized today! That water must be 32*!” Davin grinned as he scooted in next to Carmella.
“You’re telling me, I almost feel bad for Beverly!”
The twin’s giggled, obviously. “Oh,” Lily said, glancing toward the line now assembling itself to one side, “She’ll be ok. I got baptized last year. It was freezing but totally worth it.” For once the googly eyes disappeared as Lily seemed to be somewhere else for a moment. “I remember when I got saved, and I couldn’t wait to get in that water. I wanted to tell everyone!” A smile split her pretty face, “I did get a cold though.”
“That’s cause you didn’t change out of your wet cloths afterward!” Nadia cried, slapping her playfully, “If you had listened to mom you wouldn’t have been sniffing for the next week!”
They dissolved into giggles again, but Carmella had to smile. That was one thing she loved about Lily. She was faithful, fun, and she truly loved God. Nothing seemed to shake that relationship, at least, not until Jay, who seemed to distract her.
“Hello folks! Are we glad it’s California or what? This water is freezing!” Pastor Bob welcomed everyone. “Today we’re celebrating our Independence. First we are celebrating our Independence in Christ. Our freedom from sin that we have received from Him. And then we are celebrating the Independence of our nation years and year ago! Back when I was still a little boy, the U.S. declared Independence from England.”
Laughter rippled through the crowd. He loved to joke about how old he was.
“We’re going to do a baptism. Baptism symbolizes our death to ourselves and the flesh, and then resurrection in Christ as a new creation. Let’s pray and then we’ll go ahead and start dunking.”
Beverly was nervous as she stepped into the freezing pool. She was almost numb and hardly felt it as she took Pastor Bob and the youth pastor’s hands. Each of them held on to her and she felt comforted.
“Beverly? You’ve come here to make a public confession to all these people what has already happened in your heart. They are here to witness your confession, and they’ve got phones and camera’s. They have Facebook and other thingamajigs, so once you do this a lot of people are going to see and hear about it. I just want to make sure you understand before we dunk you.”
Beverly nodded, gripping their hands and concentrated on breathing.
“When you are baptized it symbolizes your dying to self and rising again with Christ. You know that?”
“Have you accepted Jesus as your Savior who died on the cross to pay for your sins?”
“Yes, I have.”
“Ok. We baptize you in the name of the Father and the Son and the Holy Spirit.” With a nod to the youth pastor, Pastor Bob gently lowered her into the water and helped her stand back up.
Joy radiated through her as she broke through the surface. She couldn’t hear the crowds applause or her friends shouting and cheering, but she knew that she had just died to her self and was now risen with Christ. “I will never look back.” She whispered, smiling, as she stepped out of the pool, wrapped a towel around herself and walked to the bathroom to change out of her wet dress.
“Bevy!!” Nadia, Lily, Mello, and Sue all crowded in for a hug. “So proud of you.” “Happy for you!” “Was it cold?”
Bev knew one thing. She couldn’t wait to jump into life. 🙂
Like it? It’s a working progress. I won’t be posting part #3 until probably August. But I’ve got other stuff in mind. 🙂 CLICK HERE FOR PART #3!