Julie Lyles Carr: Washed

Friday, August 7, 2009


It was a sweet, sweet way to start the week. On Sunday night, our precious church had a baptism service. Forty-one people were baptized.

4 of 8 was one of them.

I wondered when she was little how her hearing impairment would impact her faith walk. I wondered if she would struggle with God about this condition. I wondered how she would think on matters of faith. I wondered if we would be able to give her a teaching on faith that would fully encompass the sovereignty and grace of God within the challenges of her situation. I wondered if she would be angry.

Confession: I didn't just wonder. I waded in worry.

As 4 of 8 grew, as she began to communicate to us what was in her heart, we learned a simply amazing thing.

She hears from God.

She sings to Him. He tells her where the cat's lost collar is. She is a pray warrior. He answers. She receives insights beyond her years. God is her very present help as she listens and speaks what He reveals to her heart.

When her daddy laid her back in the water, I couldn't help but see the flashes of our journey with her, not just the tears and the worry, but the delight as she has bloomed before us. A sweeter, more generous, more compassionate spirit I have never known. And for some reason, God entrusted her to us, a sacred honor.

When people come to the baptistry, external helps and props are removed. Mascara runs off, glasses are handed to an usher. Shoes stay down on the steps.

And hearing aids are taken out and handed to a mom.

Because there is no reason for artifice, no reason for external helps when one steps into the water. God knows us just as we are, skimpy eyelashes, near-sightedness, deformed cochleas and all. We are equal sinners when we step into those healing waters, all coming out looking like wet cats. But the joy and the glory of that washing renders a glow and a peace like no other.

Our tender God puts us in the baby bath of faith and washes us clean.

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