My mother has always been afraid of water. As children, we never went swimming except on very rare occasions. Usually what we called "going swimming" was an afternoon trip to wade in the shallow Rabon Creek. Subsequently, I didn’t learn how to swim when I was young. At 14 I was sent to my oldest brother’s home for the summer to take swimming lessons at the Y, but by that time my mother’s fear of water was too entrenched, and I never felt comfortable. I don’t know how I ever took up whitewater paddling – I guess floating on top of the water never had the same dread for me. It wasn’t until our sabbatical year in Tucson that I really became comfortable in the water. We had an apartment with a heated pool, so every day for an entire year I swam, and eventually overcame my fear. I had to go to one of the driest parts of the country to learn to swim.
Another closure came yesterday. Because my mother was so afraid of water, she had never been baptized. As she gets older, this has bothered her more and more. We had a gathering for the four in my family who graduated from various things this year, and it seemed the perfect opportunity for Steve to take care of my mother’s concern. He figured with as many preachers in our family now, at least ONE ought to be able to handle this.
As our family gathered on our upper deck overlooking our new hot tub, Laura had apprehensions about the appropriateness of using the hot tub. However, Steve’s selection of scripture put everyone’s mind at ease as to the venue. In Acts, chapter eight, Peter meets the Ethiopian eunuch. After some theological discourse, the Ethiopian looks at their local stream and at which point the scripture says..
"And as they went along the road they came to some water, and the eunuch said, "See, here is water! What is to prevent my being baptized?"
…and with that my mother was baptized in our hot tub. The rest of the party proceeded with hamburgers and other cook-out cuisine. Oddly enough, no one every asked a blessing over the meal, which is unheard of for our family. I guess everyone thought that the baptism was enough to cover anything else that happened that day.