“Little by little, one travels far.” J.R.R. Tolkien

15 06 2005

I feel like someone scooped up a big stack of photographs, tossed them in the air, and I’m catching glimpses of golden memories as they fall around me. I want to snatch each one, show it to you, and tell you all about it. But then the next one catches my eye, and my thoughts follow. Sunlight on Puget Sound, wind in my hair, Grace’s smile, Luke’s hugs, salt-o-the-earth kindred spirits, Gypsy Hall, magical music, coffee as art, cobbled streets, holy laughter, whispered prayers . . .

Grace is a college graduate now. We attended an ivy-cutting ceremony, her honors project presentation, a baccalaureate service, and commencement. The speeches made at each of these events were perhaps the best I’ve heard anywhere. As I listened to Dr. Steele’s address at baccalaureate, I thanked God once again for his influence in Grace’s life. What an amazing journey the college years have been for her!

During our entire visit the weather behaved like a star pupil in charm school, except for one small tantrum thrown during the final half hour of the commencement ceremony. It started with a light rain–just enough to prompt the cap-and-gown crowd to don their ponchos. With the partial covering of the upper stands at Qwest Field, we spectators almost didn’t even need our umbrellas. But the sky was reserving its big guns, waiting for that moment when thousands of people would be herding themselves toward parking lots. Then it hit. A mischievous wind ushered the rain under superfluous umbrellas, soaking the lower halves of the well-dressed masses. A gust grabbed my umbrella and turned it inside out. Grace’s friend, Curtis, who was sharing its protection, came to the rescue and restored it to its proper proportions. I was too busy laughing as the wind whipped my damp skirt and tousled my carefully coiffed hair. I loved it! It wouldn’t have felt like an official Seattle graduation if it hadn’t rained.

Sunday morning we gathered at Madison Park on Lake Washington under “the bluest skies you’ve ever seen.” Fluffy mountain ranges of clouds posed over the opposite shore, inviting admiration and providing the perfect photographic backdrop. One by one and in small groups a very special group of people arrived–all of them invited by Grace as witnesses. It was an occasion of solemn joy. Grace’s baptism.

George spoke a few words. Then Hylan Slobodkin, a Jewish rabbi who long ago found his Messiah in Jesus, shared scripture and explained the meaning of baptism. With a radiant face, Grace addressed the group–people to whom she desires to remain accountable–declaring her faith in Christ and her determination to follow Him in life. Then she and Hylan waded into the chilly water. We couldn’t hear what they said out there, but we could see the delight dancing in their faces. Sunlight on rippled water added a chorus of holy laughter, and my heart whispered hallelujah. Heaven smiled. Buried with Christ. Risen with Him to walk in newness of life.

Grace graduated. In more ways than one. And the journey is only beginning.

~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*

Stay tuned for stories about the Bainbridge Island ferry, the beautiful Zach Fleury’s rap, the Men of Gypsy Hall, and more. Until next time, be well.


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12 responses

15 06 2005
armored_mind

beautiful.

15 06 2005
armored_mind

beautiful.

15 06 2005
armored_mind

beautiful.

15 06 2005
jeannedamoff

thanks!

15 06 2005
jeannedamoff

thanks!

15 06 2005
jeannedamoff

thanks!

16 06 2005
furiavriel

my sister is baptized.

“my soul wells up with a Hallelujah.”

love,
luke

16 06 2005
furiavriel

my sister is baptized.

“my soul wells up with a Hallelujah.”

love,
luke

16 06 2005
furiavriel

my sister is baptized.

“my soul wells up with a Hallelujah.”

love,
luke

16 06 2005
jeannedamoff

She is, indeed! And you were there. And so was I. Along with a beloved cloud of witnesses.

I’m still dancing inside.

xo,
Mz

16 06 2005
jeannedamoff

She is, indeed! And you were there. And so was I. Along with a beloved cloud of witnesses.

I’m still dancing inside.

xo,
Mz

16 06 2005
jeannedamoff

She is, indeed! And you were there. And so was I. Along with a beloved cloud of witnesses.

I’m still dancing inside.

xo,
Mz

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