Previous Challenge Entry (Level 1 – Beginner)
Topic: Christian Baptism (10/18/07)
- TITLE: Seen
By Karen Petty
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Since her very first visit to Oak Street Christian Church, she felt welcomed and wanted. The pastor and some others even stopped by to say hello to Elizabeth’s family one Saturday afternoon. But, her mother had stood on the porch and not let them in. She did, however, agree to let Elizabeth go to church if she had all her chores done. Tabitha didn’t really like church. Her own mother had made her go all those years and look what God had done. He’d forgotten her. Didn’t He love her after all? “Maybe God loves Elizabeth, though”, she’d thought. “She’s happy and good. Not like me”, the words in her head pierced her. “It wouldn’t hurt to let her go”.
Elizabeth skipped into the sanctuary, just as soon as the bus had opened its doors. This was a very special day! Elizabeth was going to be baptized! She had given her heart to the Lord weeks before and was learning more and more about Him all the time. It seems every word she read from God’s Word was just for her! When she learned in Sunday school about the significance of baptism, Elizabeth wanted it. She wanted to obey and honor God with all of her nine year old heart.
The pastor stood waist deep in the baptismal pool. Elizabeth peeked through the curtains. She could see her Sunday school teachers catching her gaze and giving her a big smile. The Pinson’s were an older couple, and really nice. She supposed that was what grandparents were like. But she didn’t really know for sure. Anyway, they’d asked her to sit with them each Sunday, and that made Elizabeth feel really great.
It was her turn. The pastor proudly introduced Elizabeth and boasted of her excitement for the Lord and her willingness to obey him in the waters of baptism. He said that he’d never seen such a small child have such a desire to draw near to God. Her heart swelled. She did want to draw near to God. He had certainly drawn near to her!
Water splashed over Elizabeth’s head as the pastor pulled her up out of the pool. She felt good. She felt taller and cleaner. She felt God’s love cover her like a warm blanket.
After the service, Elizabeth found that the Pinsons were waiting for her. Their hugs and words of encouragement made this day even more special. With her arms wrapped around her sweet elderly friend, Elizabeth noticed someone watching. It was her mother! She stood there with a tear running down her face. “I’ve brought something for you” said Tabitha in a vulnerable tone. Her heart had been pricked as she heard the words of the sermon and then watched her young daughter’s faith in a God she herself used to trust in. She reached out and placed something in Elizabeth’s hands. “It was mine, when I was your age” she said, as her fingers smoothed the cover of an old and worn children’s bible.
“Thank you, Mom! I can’t believe you came”, replied Elizabeth, full of hope. She had been praying for her mom since she came to know Jesus, and now she was right here! “I was thinking that maybe we could come to church together next time, if you like” Tabitha heard herself say. She really did want to draw near to God. She missed Him. She needed Him. Tabitha was unsure as to how to let God love her, but she knew that she wanted to know Him better… just like her daughter.
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