The writer in me was hoping to have a title for this post that was full of pizzazz, or made you hunker down and ponder the beauty of the world from perfectly selected words bolded at the top of the page. But I couldn’t pull anything out of my brain beyond the obvious: Cormac’s Baptism. So bailing on the usual wordsmithing, I instead got to thinking at how powerful a few simple words can be, much like the power found in something as simple as water.
It’s cliché to say that pregnancy, birth, and raising children is a journey, but this past year has been quite the trip, full of grief and worry, joy and relief, humility and triumph. As a family, we chose to seek out a new church in the fall of last year to find a place that could better match our season of life and lift us up spiritually. It was tough, but then we walked into a church downtown and it all felt good and right. From the echoes of guitar, viola, and organ in our ears, to the challenges and encouragement coming from the pulpit, to the many children that Quincy and Eloise had as new church-mates… we had found our new place.
As we were trying out different churches, the one thing that poked me with guilt was that our youngest child would be baptized in a different place than our first two kids. But then on that very same Sunday that we walked through the doors of what would become our new church, they had a baptism for another little baby. I cried – like I always do – as the pastor poured water on the baby’s head. He then chose a verse specific for that little babe, special just for them, and I knew we were right where we needed to be. My belly was rounded in pregnancy at the time, baby Cormac nestled in snug with several months yet to go until his arrival, but I knew he would have a day that we could make promises to guide him in his faith, pray for him, love on him, and he, too, would some day get his very own verse.
And so that day was just earlier this week. I wedged tissues up my sleeve in preparation for the tears, we straight-up bribed the big kids with M&M’s so they would sit (somewhat) calmly in the pews, and we made some big promises in front of our friends, family, and church to help Cormac grow in his faith, just like we had with Quincy and Eloise.
My chin trembled and tears raced down my cheeks as the water was poured on Cormac’s forehead. And then as the congregation stood up and said they would be helping him grow in his faith, too, well that just made those tears sprint down even more quickly.
I’ve learned from our first baby, to our second, then through miscarriage, and now with our last baby, that you can’t do it alone. The village that helps raise your kids also helps raise you up as a parent, helps you to be a better person, and that village also helps carry you along your journey of faith, too.
After all the promises and celebration of Cormac’s baptism, our pastor shared the verse he had chosen for Cormac, whose name means “charioteer” in its Gaelic origins, and explained the verse as such:
“The Ethiopian eunuch was riding in a chariot reading from the prophet Isaiah. Philip came up alongside him and asked, ‘Do you know what you’re reading?’ The Eunuch replied, ‘How can I unless someone helps me.’ So Philip jumped into the chariot with him (became his charioteer) and ‘began to speak, beginning with the prophet Isaiah, he proclaimed to him the good news about Jesus.’
My thought and prayer for Cormac is that he’ll grow up and live into his name like Philip (another charioteer) to proclaim the good news about Jesus.”
-Pastor Jon Brown
Pretty powerful stuff, wouldn’t you say? Let’s be like the charioteer and jump aboard to spread the word of Jesus, even if it only takes a few simple words.
Thankful for our village of love, faith, and encouragement both near and far,
P.S. A special thanks goes out to my brother, Jeremy, and my great friend, Jessica, for taking pictures of this big day. THANK YOU!