(Photos by Angie Thieszen)
A young woman went underwater today. For the last two years, her twinkling eyes have showered my two boys with kindness at church. She never let an opportunity pass to say hello and talk with them.
When Henry and James were younger, she held their little hands and walked them, back and forth, from the nursery door to the front door. She made them feel like the most important people in the church.
Her life went underwater this morning. But steadied by the strong arms of her father, she came up with a new life.
Our church held a special baptism service at our pastor’s home this morning. Afterwards, children swam in the pond, shoveled ice cream into their mouths, and enjoyed special rides with the pastor on his pony cart. As they circled the pond, Pastor Mel also knew how to make Henry and James feel like the most important boys on the planet.
They talked all afternoon and evening about their pony ride with Pastor Mel. Henry asked to call his grandparents after we got home. He wanted everyone to know.
Our pastor has been with our church, as pastor, for more than 40 years. Growing up with a revolving door of pastors in different churches, I was astounded by his commitment to one flock. His love for others spans decades of broken, needy people.
His Christlike obedience has kept the ground fertile for countless seedlings to begin new lives, just like the young woman baptized today. There’s an ever-growing forest of people in our church who now actively reach out across the world to help others know that they, too, are loved.
Because they’ve caught, for themselves, just how loved and special they are.
This is how church works best: the pouring out of ourselves to drench the world with God’s love — one tiny, little hand at a time. Once someone catches the deepness and vastness of that love, she will follow Him anywhere.