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Previous Challenge Entry (Level 2 – Intermediate)
Topic: Christian Baptism (10/18/07)

TITLE: Memories
By Patricia Todd


It was the spring of 1947. Everyone was still trying to pick up the pieces and carry on after the war. So many people had been affected in so many different ways. So many familiar faces had gone and the world seemed somehow less bright without them. Yet today was a fresh start for Margaret and Kenneth for they were finally getting married.

During the war they hadn't seen so much of each other because of service in the armed forces and other duties. Margaret's mother owned a small seafront hotel and it had been used to billet quite a number of the American soldiers. Life had been busy and then there had been the large bomb in the bay which had shattered all the windows. However, today was a new day and all that was behind them.

The wedding was in a small, old church and afterwards there was a reception for family and friends. Margaret and Kenneth were so happy.

After they were married they moved to live in a small, somewhat remote farmhouse. Life was very different there. Margaret had been used to living in the hotel in the town. At the little farm life was very basic but Margaret didn't mind because she loved the countryside and she and Kenneth were very happy together.

In 1948 Margaret discovered that she was going to have a baby. She and Kenneth were so much looking forward to the birth. Eventually on 24th November Margaret gave birth to a little baby boy. He looked so perfect in every way, a tiny miracle. Yet it transpired that he wasn't very well. He was put in an incubator. Suddenly things seemed more bleak. The minister came to see them at the hospital. He was very supportive. As the baby still wasn't showing signs of improvement Kenneth and Margaret decided to have him baptised. The minister baptised him Lindon William Alexander on the 26th of November. There was a sense of peace and of God's presence with them.

Then sorrow struck. The hospital building that they were in was a sort of nissan hut. When the nurse went off duty on the night of the 27th she switched off the light as usual but tragically she also switched off the electricity supply to the incubator. On the morning of the 28th little Lindon was found to have died. Understandably Kenneth and Margaret were heartbroken. Their beautiful little baby boy was dead. Their one consolation was that they had committed him to God and had had him baptised.

Over the years that followed God did bless Kenneth and Margaret with six more children and they also had another baby boy that died. Kenneth and Margaret were my parents and I am thankful to God for how they did their best to care for us as children. Life was not very easy at times but I know my parents wanted the best for us, especially for us to know God. We were all baptised as children.

I know there are different views about baptism as to whether it should be of infants or purely an adult affair. I am not a great theologian but I think that the Bible may not be opposed to the baptism of children. We read in Acts of various people being baptised with their household. For example,in Acts chapter 16, verses 33 and 34 we read about the jailer being baptised “with all his family”.( RSV) It is quite probable such a household may have included children and even babies. Also we read of Jesus being very receptive to children. So it is reasonable to believe that there were babies of christian parents baptised in New Testament times.

I am glad that my parents did have little Lindon baptised. Somehow it is a consolation. In the end it all comes down to faith, our faith in a great and wonderful God who is greater than we can imagine.

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Member Comments
Member Date
Joanne Sher 10/25/07
Wow - you packed a lot of "story" into this entry! I feel like I lived a whole lifetime in these few words! You kept me engaged.

The last paragraph seemed to completely change the tone of the piece - maybe there was a better way of working that information in - or even just leaving it out. I don't think it was central to the story.

What a wonderful legacy you have. Keep writing!
Jan Ackerson 10/25/07
What a lovely story, and very evocative of the time in which it is set.

I hope you will consider writing this some time in short story fashion, with dialogue, so that we can really get to know the characters better.
Peter Stone10/28/07
A sad yet moving entry. I think it would have been even stronger if you had put the last two paragraphs into the story. Perhaps as issues that the characters faced (for example, in responsed to opposition from those opposed to infant baptism) and how they worked through those issues by considering those particular Bible passages.
c clemons10/29/07
I suspect that you are correct when you say that entire households were probably baptised as mentioned in the book Acts. I see it as a form of baby dedication, dedicating that child back to God while they are in your care. This read more like a journal to me with the inflections of the way the MC would speak. A little wordy in spots but overall a good job.
Joanne Sher 11/02/07
Congratulations, Patricia. Your entry placed tenth in Level 2. The Top 15 in each Level and the Top 40 Overall Lists are posted each week in the Weekly Results and Highest Rankings Forum of the Faithwriters Message Boards.