The body of Christ has grown by at least one member as of yesterday. L's Baptism service was very, very wonderful. There is really something to be said for baptising someone who can actually look you in the eye and answer those "Do you renounce..." questions with a heartfelt "I do renounce them." I know he had really thought about the questions and meant those answers deeply.
When I baptized my first (and only) baby, I said that baptising was very high on my favorite things to do as a priest. This is something I could get used to doing more of given the chance, little people, big people....born again in water and the spirit, welcoming people into this communion....and reminding us all that we are called to be part of something large and wonderful with God....yep, I could do this more often.
Yesterday was festive and solemn, joyous and grave...the way the best sacramental liturgy is, I think. We had some regular hymns on the organ and praise music that L selected from DC Talk and New Song on the CD player. Some of the readings were from traditional translations, but we read the Gospel from The Message (a departure for my place on a Sunday morning!) The blessing was adapted from a prayer of Chief Seattle. It was eclectic, it was focused on L, and it was full of wonder and blessing.
We don't know what is coming next for him. But whatever it is, he carries into it with him something more than the last time he faced these dark times. He's holding fast to that, and so am I.