I have remembered my baptism when gentle mist dampens me as I walk in the morning. Instead of church music, I hear the sounds of bugs singing in chorus. I’ve remembered by baptism at the Academy for Spiritual Formation by dipping my fingers in a bowl of water before entering the worship space. The “music” greeting me is the smell of fresh baked bread as I prepare to share the Lord's Supper within a community sharing life together. There are even days when I remember my baptism while taking a shower and a routine daily activity becomes an offering of praise to God.
In Guatemala I remembered my baptism by having a bowl of water from the new well poured on my head. The praise that greeted me was the laughter of children as they played in the fresh clean water. A muddy sugarcane field was transformed into a glorious sanctuary, rivaling the most magnificent cathedral! Worship didn’t look like it does at Mulberry on a typical Sunday morning, but as we laughed, splashed each other with water, and drank from the pipe that poured fresh water into the sugarcane, the muddy field became sacred space. We were standing on holy ground, our laughter an offering of praise to God, who was literally making blessings flow. I thought of a verse from Psalm 107: God can turn the desert into watery pools, thirsty ground into watery springs.”
Elizabeth Canham, author of Heart Whispers, notes that much of our education encourages us to move from contemplative wonder into the world of rational thought, which causes us to lose touch with the child within us “who wants to observe, play, and live fully into the marvelous world of God’s making.” When we are able to recognize the child within us, we can also recognize the “robust playfulness of God (who made Leviathan ‘for the sport of it’ (Psalm 104:27).”
On Friday, in that sugarcane field, God was at play, celebrating with the children of Monte Cristo and our mission team. In remembering my baptism that day, I was able to remember and celebrate the child within me, unburdened by rational thought, propriety or any need to “act my age.” I don’t really care if heaven contains streets of gold and mansions. I hope heaven is a lot more like a muddy sugarcane field in Guatemala, where God, children and adults splash and play and laugh “for the sport of it.”