The Lord has been good to my family: Our clays are full, our neighbors are friendly, our crops are luscious and times are far from tumultuous. With the day ahead of me I wandered into the wilderness following fate in the form of a fluttering butterfly. I heard commotion near the banks and a man speaking in such a voice. It bellowed and wailed. It loved and convicted. It pleaded and commanded. His vocal show was not of the flesh.
Men and woman and children were amongst Him in the water. He was blessing some while spraying water over them others. Some would walk to him. He would cup his hands. Filled with the spirit that is over the waters his hands would wet them. Still others were dunked completely.
When I stepped into the water I immediately was aware of my perfidious nature. It was as if there had been a covering. Many coverings really, over a dirty being that I had been hiding. I was ready to give anything in order to rid myself of that awful feeling. At the moment that I felt ready to give everything, my life even, his eyes met mine. I saw fire in them like when my dad is angry. This fire was much more condemning and there was a certain injunction to it. Like the anger was for my sake instead of for his.
I was drawn to him. He continued speaking to the multitude as I waded closer. When I was in front of him not 10 cubits he violently smacked the water with the knife of his hand. A torrent of emotion overwhelmed as I was soaked. My hands reached to the sky as a cry escaped from the innards. I knew in that moment that I would never be the same again. I had a will to be precious in the eyes of the Lord. I knew that I was and could stay as such. Many scriptures I had known and were repeated all around me emptily now were meaty. They became like food, with depth and promise and guidance. What was more though: love. Like I had not known was a part of life. I rejoiced.
It was amazing. Was everyone this overcome when being baptized? Surely yes, as I was not alone in this reaction to being cleansed.
Then, the man stopped and stood in awe. He was speechless and motionless and his being looked as if it had reached the end of his road. As if all of existence had pinnacled. A man stepped into the water and the multitude broke, making Him a pathway. His steps were gentle like a fawn. His shoulders moved inward as he slouched. He said he seeked sanctification. This He said in a low voice to a few in the water. John was just shy of ear shot and announced:
Behold the Lamb of God, which taketh away the sin of the world.
This is He of whom I said, After me cometh a man which is preferred before me: for He was before me.
Jesus right away turned around. Coming up out of the water He stood upon the shore. with His hands out-stretched and low down at His sides it was plain that His spirit was rejoicing. The skies opened and a Dove like no one in the history of any recording had ever seen fluttered, gracefully down upon Him. The skies broke way to reveal a heavenly light which bore it’s way into Him as God Himself said with the voice of an angel “This is my beloved son, with whom I am well pleased”.
Many people rejoiced and gave thanks to The Living Word. Many hugged and cried . Some had their faces in the mud. Many were weeping and still others stood with perplexed looks of fear. Jesus made his way back through the crowd touching and exclaiming the glories of The Father as He went. His very being screamed love. Yet, there was a distance about Him, a certain loneliness that could be sensed. The earth is a place. it is definitely a place with a lack thereof I could not see until this day.
Today marks almost a month. It seems I have received a certain comeuppance from the experience. The reality of life is slipping in and robbing me of the peace of that moment as the challenges of the knowledge and wisdom of The Spirit come and go. I am failing the Father at every turn. If only I could be with John and Jesus once more. Just for an instance. That instance would be enough for me to know for sure that it was real. I know that it is real. The others who were there tell of the same miraculous signs. Eternal life is a product of belief. Belief is not remembered by those who have not made a decision. That decision is to give one’s life to The Son of God. In doing so one will receive life. and it more abundantly.