D. J. Sweetenham
At least it is for me. I’m still so excited, I don’t really know what to say, or write, or whatever it is that I’m supposed to be doing right now! Part of that I know is due to sleep deprivation and I guess this is also part of the reason for this state of mental confusion with which I am juggling, today. I don’t believe I have had much more than a couple of hours sleep since last Friday night and even that was constantly being interrupted with all kinds of crazy dreams as well as the early release of Indepen-dence Day fireworks. O.K. I won’t keep you in suspense any longer – my big, exciting news is that I was baptized at the Stockbridge First Christian Church, after the morning service on July 3.
I’m not going to go into too much detail of how I knew I was ready or how everything just seemed to come together with very little detailed planning. I just know that someone with much more power than any of us, had taken charge of the arrangements and made the entire process as simple and straightforward as it could possibly be. I must admit that I was definitely nervous before I walked up the aisle with Millie beside me where we met up with Jerry, the Preacher and Greg, the Associate Pastor as well as a group of “well-wishers.” Jerry and Greg are definitely Heaven sent, as far as I am concerned. It’s easy to see why they both are so highly thought of by the congregation. Angels do walk on this Earth and I am truly blessed to be able to claim two of them, at least, as my dear friends.
Greg led me away from the group to the side door leading to the back of the stage area where the changing rooms are located and I quickly exchanged my outdoor clothes for a white robe, supplied for that purpose. Greg was waiting for me when I came out of the changing room and helped me to climb the short stairway to access the “pond.” He assisted me as I stepped down into the water which was pleasantly cool and spoke the words which I repeated before he briefly pushed my head under the water. And that was it. I couldn’t believe that it was all over so quickly and smoothly. It is certainly going to be a day and an experience that I will never forget. After changing back from the wet robe and putting on my dry clothes, I rejoined Millie and more friends at the front of the sanctuary. After so many congratulations and best wishes I was in a complete daze but Millie was there to lead me to the side door when we finally said “Good Bye.” We drove home where Millie had prepared a cold salad lunch, after which we both decided to have a little nap. Delilah, “Dee,” our little dog, was really pleased to see us and our plan to take a rest suited her plan for the afternoon perfectly. Looking back, I really don’t remember going to sleep and I’m still not sure I’m awake even now. This wonderful feeling of euphoria just keeps on going and I’m so looking forward to next Sunday’s services when I can meet with people who have shared this wonderful sensation. A caged wild bird must feel like this when it is suddenly set free.
Well, there it is, my exciting news is now common knowledge. It truly is a wonderful feeling. In one way I wish I had done it many years ago but then, I wouldn’t have met Jerry, Greg and all the wonderful people who call The First Christian Church of Stockbridge, home.
D.J. Sweetenham, originally from England, is the author of Bumps in the Road and Bumps in the Road - Part Two, highlights of his interesting and far-flung life. D.J., his wife, and their small dog, live in Stockbridge.