It was baptism weekend at our church this weekend. Three services and seven baptisms. Seven baptisms with seven so different people yet such similar stories. Pain, addictions, suffering, abuse, brokenness, hurt, and a lot of searching for the truth.
The story that really hit me was that of Mary. I had already heard a bit of Mary's story from Phil early in the week, how she really felt this baptism thing was something she felt she needed to do, but still had questions and was unsure if it was the right thing for her to do. During the first service on Sunday when she was baptized, Phil told a bit of her story, about her questions and uncertainty during the past week. It was the same story Phil had already shared with me earlier in the week, I knew what was coming, I was prepared and it still hit me like a ton of bricks. Her final question for Phil was: "What I really want to know is this...does God love the mentally ill?". Tears welled in my eyes and ran down my cheeks as I heard those words again. I went to the 11 o'clock service and heard the same story and had the same result...tears, not just from me, there were many. This woman probably has no idea how many people she moved.
I have been thinking a lot about those words of Mary lately. Her openness and honesty spoke so much truth into the lives of so many. Words that pierced straight through to the soul.