Previous Challenge Entry (Level 1 – Beginner)
Topic: Christian Baptism (10/18/07)
TITLE: The Waters of Burlington Lake
By Paula Titus
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Isabelle watched carefully as the preacher placed his hand across the back of Miranda about to immerse her body beneath the cool crisp water of Burlington Lake.
Isabelle’s eyes turn toward Louise, Miranda’s mother. She watched as tears flowed down her face with her hands raised toward Heaven as if she were beckoning God to watch this glorious event with her.
<i>Oh I’m sure He’s watching, God sees everything doesn’t He?</i>
Louise had taken Isabelle under her wing, just since a year ago when she had lost her own mother in that horrific car accident in the spring of 1962, just two days after Isabelle’s sixteenth birthday.
Isabelle watched Miranda’s face, inspecting it for some visible sign of change as the preacher brought her up out of the clear water with a mighty force. <i>He must be strong, won’t drop me.</i> The water now soaking her from her black curly hair, dripping to the bottom of her old blue jeans that now clung to her legs and looked heavy enough to drag her under again. Isabelle noticed the strange but beautiful smile on Miranda’s lips that seemed to brighten her whole face as she looked up at the preacher with a glance of admiration. <i>I would like to be that happy again,</i> Isabelle thought.
The sky was so clear that day. Isabelle’s eyes shut tight as she took a deep breath of the warm spring air, she was glad her mom had left her bedroom window open the night before, her mother then rushed into her bedroom to tell her she had left her breakfast on the stove and was going to do some shopping at the local grocery store. Isabelle remembers thinking <i>I wish she would knock before she comes rushing in!</i> With a quick kiss and a reminder to clean her room, her mother left for her weekly grocery trip. Isabelle walked over to the open window. She couldn’t help but notice the stark contrast between the newly green leaves of the trees that bordered her yard against the bright blue spring sky. Colors that left Isabelle with a feeling of new beginnings. <i>It’s been such a long cold winter.</i> She waved as her mom pulled out of the long driveway that spills into a busy street where everyone always seems to be rushing to get to one place or another, <i>Mom always has trouble getting out.</i>
It was her turn to be baptized in the lake now. By now Isabelle had forgotten her fear of being dropped and was lost in the happiness of her best friend Miranda. <i>I don’t know what I would have done if she hadn’t been there for me, her and her mom.</i> Isabelle had learned to love the chats the three of them had when no one else was around. She always watched Louise’s face carefully when she would read to them from her Bible. Her eyes would grow as large as saucers when she came across a certain verse that she thought was particularly important for Isabelle to hear. But she had her own favorite verse now, and she even had it memorized: <i>And God shall wipe away all tears from their eyes; and there shall be no more death, neither sorrow, nor crying, neither shall there be any more pain: for the former things are passed away.</i>
She was completely immersed in the waters of Burlington Lake.
<i>She’s not breathing.</i> Isabelle can still hear those words stabbing at her heart like a thousand needles piercing each one by one and all simultaneously until her heart felt like it would bleed through every pore of her body. <i>You can’t leave me here alone.</i>
The strong arm pulled her up out of the water. As she caught her breath she felt the warm midday sun beaming down on her wet face as if it wanted to kiss her skin with all the love of a mother’s lips. Isabelle opened her eyes and couldn’t help but notice the stark contrast between the newly green leaves that bordered the lake against the bright blue spring sky. <i>It’s been such a long cold winter, but now I have a new beginning.</i>
Bible Quote: Rev 21:4 KJV
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