Our precious grandchild Josie taught me all kinds of things as I was with her these two weeks: “Give thanks when getting cleaned up in life!” (She calms down as if to say just that. Sometimes I have less gratitude.)
“Let others help you!” (Right- no choice at her age, but she receives. Do i? Do you?)
“Enjoy sleep!” (Seeing her sleep on anyone’s shoulder, or in someone’s arms, or in bouncy or crib looks to me like she is enjoying it!)
“Take time to just look at the day!” (She does this, looking around, noticing angels and other notables.)
“Be yourself!” (There are no other options. But it seems in adulthood we sometimes try to be anyone but just us.)
“Nestle don’t wrestle,” the famous saying from Corrie Ten Boom, came to mind as I watched her settle into the safe arms of mom or dad or others.
“Taste and see that the Lord is good.” (She demonstrates this when eating. God-blessed milk. And also seen at her baptism.)
The Orthodox Church lives baptism with a richness we can only hope to glean from. Of course we do use some of the ancient language used since the early church, but fall far shy of their elaborate celebration.
The godparents hold the infant on behalf of her parents vowing their spiritual responsibility to the child’s spiritual life.
There are prayers of exorcism commanding all wickedness to depart from her life. These are thorough cleansing prayers.(http://orthodoxwiki.org/Exorcism)
Prayers for the anointing and seal of God’s Holy Spirit are offered — oil placed on her forehead, eyes, ears, mouth, hands and feet– she just received this. Not a complaint.
Of course she was dunked three times in the name of the Father, Son, and Holy Spirit. She loves water, sputtered a little at going under three times, but then had this immense joy in her face: Like this was the best gift ever– like God was gloriously present in her.
She was dried off by her godmother and dressed in her baptism gown. Then the baptism ritual continued with more prayers, anointing, and the baptismal dance, a walk three times around the altar.
Thoroughly baptized. We all were richly blessed. Immensely loved.
Today as I got to hold that precious little girl again for the last time for a season, with tears, I gave thanks for the gift of this time, and for all the lessons she’s taught me. Life cannot be measured by what we do or accomplish. It must be measured by who we are. Josie- you’ve taught me this.