Calm from the storm

Published 3:58 am Wednesday, August 22, 2018

Sunday was fast approaching, and I had yet to find the perfect gift to commemorate Gauge’s baptism. I wanted it to be something that would have special meaning in the years to come. The day he publicly signified to the world that he was a Christ follower was definitely worth celebrating!

At the tender age of 7, Gauge hasn’t been exposed to much of the harsher side of life. He attends a Christian school, and his parents work hard to protect his innocence.

When our little man does have to see and try to make sense of the rougher side of life we want him to have a reserve of goodness and a love of others to filter it through. Although he is very young he amazes me at times with his understanding, and I trust that his faith will see him through whatever challenges he will face in life.

The little church where my son and his family attend has no facility for baptisms so a Sunday in August was designated as the time for the church to meet at a large pond for the blessed event. Young and old alike will wade into the water anxiously awaiting their turn.

After days of searching I finally found a children’s Bible that was easy to read. It had a beautiful cover with animals from Noah’s ark engraved on it, and I imagined him pouring over the colorful pictures. I envisioned the dog-eared pages after years of reading stories at night with his mom and dad. I hoped that one day this Bible would be like an old friend.

The long anticipated day of Gauge’s baptism came. The pastor had procured a hall for a brief service before the baptisms and a celebratory meal after. Mike and I brought our food in and had a seat with the rest of the family. The weather threatened to turn bad at any moment, and I willed the young preacher to talk fast. With each clap of thunder I grimaced. The sky grew darker and darker as I squirmed in my folding chair.

The young preacher seemed almost totally oblivious to the storm brewing and took his time. In his opening prayer he did quietly ask God to hold off the weather for a while. He even gave an invitation for others to make the life changing decision to follow Christ. Our little band of believers sang totally off-key. Each stanza sounded a little worse than the one before, but I don’t think the music mattered much to the young fellow who walked down and took the preacher’s hand.

By the time the invitation ended one more soul had decided to follow Jesus. We all walked to the swimming area of the pond just as the sun peeked out from behind a cloud. What had looked almost like foolishness to me was actually faith; the young preacher remembered to call on and trusted in the One who could calm any storm.

Jan Penton Miller can be reached at