Poison Dart Frogs are some of the tiniest and beautiful creatures on the planet; they are also incrediably deadly. So, why call this blog "Tiny Dart Frog"? It goes back to the old adage - good things come in small packages. We are all created exactly as God has intended - unique, strong, and beautiful.
Tuesday, September 15, 2009
The Weight of Water
The other morning I was out running early, very early. Early enough that I knew it was raining only because I could feel it on my skin. I couldn't see the rain falling. Although when I passed a streetlamp and looked up I could really see just how hard it was raining. The rain streaked down like glistening tinsel.
It's easier for me to run in the rain when it's dark. I can't really see what I'm in for...and once I'm out there, well...I'm already up out of bed, dressed, and wet, so I may as well stick it out.
By the time I got home I was really glad I had spent the early morning hours outside. Something about the monotonous, humdrum of the rain against my skin, and the splashing of my shoes through the puddles made me feel just right. Just right in the way that everything in the world may not be just right, but I was just right. I felt fresh. I felt renewed. I felt ready to take on the world. Maybe, I sort-of felt baptized. Awake.
That feeling stuck with me as a new heaviness set in. The weight of my soaked clothing practically begged it to be stripped off of me. And that's about when it hit me - the weight of water.
Water is heavy. One liter of water equals a little more than 2 pounds. As I was out there in the rain, being cleansed by the water, it was also sticking to me - weighing on me.
I'm thinking about this so much because we so often focus on the renewing, cleansing, refreshing, sanctifying aspects of water...but we forget about the weight of it. We forget that when water is added to something it makes it heavier. There's this notion that water whisks away the dirt, the imperfections and therefore, the water is making the thing lighter, because the bad stuff is gone. We forget that just a little water adds up quickly.
So, in light of this, what does it means to be baptized, to be drenched in water? To be totally covered in the rushing waters of the Jordon, the rains of the great flood, to cross the waters of Galilee?
I should say that I don't mean for baptism to sound like a burden, but rather if we could think about the weight of it - the enormity of the gift, then maybe we wouldn't forget it so often. We wouldn't forget that we are claimed by God, that we have been drenched with an enormous gift.
The promise in Baptism isn't just that we are cleansed and renewed and claimed....but that we are cleansed and renewed and claimed even in the dark. Even when the weight of the world seems too much to bear - the weight of Baptism is more. The gift of God is more. The love of Christ is more. The breath of the Spirit is more.
Because, you know, we walk around a lot in the dark. We don't see the drips of grace falling fresh on our heads. Maybe sometimes it helps to be reminded to lift up our heads in the dark times, so that we catch a glimpse of the gifts of God raining down on us.
My name is Christine Stephan, although I answer mostly to Mom or Pastor.
I am a Lutheran pastor for an amazing group of Jesus' disciples just outside Washington DC AND a mom to 3 of the best boys in the universe.
I blog here about family and faith and frustrations....That thing we call 'life'.
My boys are passionate about all things legos, anything involving a ball, video games, and chocolate.
I am an avid runner, a lover of interesting books and deep conversation, a very amateur writer, and also a lover of chocolate.
I also love theology (which is weird, I know), but I don't love theology more than Jesus.
This blog is hardly ever profound, but it is real. As a pastor and I mom, I find 'real' to be more helpful in my journey with Jesus than crossing all the t's and dotting all the i's.