“We Acknowledge One Baptism”

Quarter of four in the morning.

My life has been like going from the monastery to the world at large since the Covid crisis hit the United States. I suppose that’s just as well, yet still I fear for my sobriety every day. Does it make any difference that I’ve been baptized with the Lutherans? 

I can remember the October morning of that event nearly four years ago, a day of torrential and constant rain when I felt barely awake. The deluge had formed huge gutter ponds at a couple of intersections. I got my feet wet in at least one of them as I gripped my green and yellow Duck umbrella against the elemental onslaught. The color of the sky was charcoal gray, but in retrospect, not unfriendly to mortals. Amazing to realize that I hadn’t yet started my antipsychotic medication: consciousness felt like a weird dream. During the ceremony, I recall how I was called upon to renounce the ways of the devil— which forever set up this dichotomy of church and the fallen world outside the sanctuary. Very strange and archaic, a ritual reaching back half a millennium. And I was a part of it! My mother had never done such a thing as this. When the pastor asked me afterwards if I felt different, I thought it was a trick question.

Five o’clock. Now I see the predawn twilight outside my window, a powder gray foreshadowing. Still I don’t know if I’m going to church this morning; today is not four years in the past, it is inalterably here and now. It’s very important to trust myself as the sun comes up on another summer’s day. 


One thought on ““We Acknowledge One Baptism”

  1. I’m struck by the description of your baptism. As a PK, I’ve attended many infant baptisms. In the service, the child is welcomed into the family of Christ, and my dad would kiss the baby’s forehead for good measure.

    Liked by 1 person

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