A Sinner’s Baptism

Raised arms woman

Desperately stumbling upon the Mississippi River in the depths of Louisiana on a warm spring morning, I longed to find anyone with a cool drink of water or a piece of bread. Instead of finding a home among the fields, I crossed the path of light green caravans bouncing upon the dirt roads. They stopped at the edge of the river bank and people of all walks of life flowed out, circling around a young man playing “Amazing Grace” on his guitar. Entranced by their serene expressions, I decided to follow even though exhaustion seared through my body. I stared in astonishment at the sight before my weak eyes.

Monet’s water colors would pale in comparison to these fields of wildflowers.  When I finally got within hearing distance of the young man, instead of a man’s words falling upon my ears, a soft whisper pierced the silence around me. “Come to me all who are weary, and I will give you rest.”  Where did that come from? Who would have known about my painful journey? Once again the whisper penetrated the recesses of my bones:  “Cast your cares upon me for I care for you.” Time stopped and all that stood before me was a man in a white linen robe. I had heard of “The living water”. I knew the stories of old. He had come to deliver me from my personal hell, but could He really look past my own iniquities? I followed the man as a sheep follows the shepherd into the immense River. The man spoke inaudibly while holding out his arms to catch me. I fell into them as a child falls into his father’s. The sensation of letting go after a game of tug-o-war overwhelmed my senses. Visions of a father soothing his child clad in a hand-made quilt, wiping away the salty tears with each rock of his chair, entranced my feeble mind. The man lowered me
into the cleansing stream, the water rushing over my frail frame, exhilaration replacing my exhaustion, peace replacing my fear, warmth replacing the cold, light replacing the dark. Lowered as a caged animal, rising as a freed man, this is the sinner’s baptism.

This is a work of fiction created by Brayden Emerick, not to be used without permission.


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