Previous Challenge Entry (Level 3 - Advanced)
Topic: Christian Baptism (10/18/07)
TITLE: Doeth Good Like a Medicine
By George Parler
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I remember the time he preached that “we should demonstrate love to the backslider, but too many times we want to kick them when they’re down,” and he kicked his leg up as his shoe launched from his foot like a rocket. It took off with such power that none of us knew where it was going to land. Brother Wright never skipped a beat in his sermon as he limped to the back of the church to retrieve his scud missile shoe. For weeks after that, if he got excited during his sermon, those in the first two pews would flinch.
This particular Sunday morning we occupied our usual seats: close enough to see everything but back far enough to evade any potential projectile.
This was Baptismal Sunday. Several who came to the saving knowledge of Christ were being baptized this morning. This was always good because it reminded us of the day we accepted Christ with a clear conscience toward God.
“Please be seated,” the choir director announced to the congregation as those who were to be baptized headed for the dressing room for their baptismal robes.
Everything was going well as Brother Wright helped each individual into the pool behind the choir seats. Each time he baptized he would momentarily bend down out of view of the congregation and then pop back up with a loud “HALLELUJAH,” and we, the congregation, would respond shouting for joy. This was the order of things; at least up to this point.
Sister Bertha Belcher entered the pool. “GLORY,” Brother Wright shouted, with a much higher pitched voice than usual. Unbeknown to us, Brother Wright wore a pair of hip waders in the baptismal pool. But as two ushers aided Sister Bertha’s entry into the pool the water level rose higher than the top of his hip waders, which began to fill rapidly. But as was his custom, Brother Wright just rolled with the punches and simply smiled and took her by the hand. After speaking quietly to Sister Bertha, Brother Wright proceeded to baptize her and as usual they both went down out of our sight.
Normally only a few seconds would pass before the expectant ‘Hallelujah’ shout from Brother Wright would be heard. But something was wrong. Several seconds passed and no shout. We began to see water splashing up into the air, but still, no shout.
We found out later what actually took place. As Brother Wright lowered Sister Bertha under the water, she began floating under the surface of the water, basking in the moment of her baptism.
Suddenly, Brother Wright noticed something floating in the water. He couldn’t quite make it out since he never wore his glasses in the baptismal pool. But the revelation of the object became clear to him at the same time Sister Bertha realized that her wig had left her head.
Frantically, she tried to get her feet back on bottom as Brother Wright dove after the wig. Not wanting to embarrass Sister Bertha, he slapped the wig back on her head as he raised her up for air. “HELP ME, JESUS,” she sputtered out loud.
The congregation applauded and cheered before they realized something was amiss. “Hey, that wasn’t our cue; was it?”
Then the church went as quiet as a silent prayer as the two of them stood up. Brother Wright looked at us with water still running off the end of his nose; still smiling of course.
“Now why was he under the water?” we muttered.
Everyone was puzzled as all we saw of Sister Bertha was the back of her head; that is until she parted her wig and we realized she had it on backwards. And then as was his custom to roll with the punches, Brother Wright shouted, “HALLELUJAH”.
The Lord truly takes the foolish things of this world to confound the wise. You couldn’t run me out of our happy little church with a dirty mop.
Partial Biblical reference to Proverbs 17:22 – KJV
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