The prompt from Write on Edge this week: This week, I’m asking you to take us into the moment your favorite photograph of yourself was taken, to show us who you were then and what the photograph means–in 300 words.
It was hard to choose between all the ones with me and Andy, like in Ireland, and me and the babies, or me and youth group kids but one of my favorite photographs:
A small, unassuming table covered by a simple white linen cloth sits outside framed by trees that seem to bend around it with the tender arms of a mother. It’s summer so the trees hold a deep green, and it was cloudy that day, so the green is even richer. Three remnants of Aspen tree trunks are placed on top of the table with tea lights lit quietly next to a clear glass bowl filled with water. I stand behind it holding little C, who’s not so little anymore in this picture, I think maybe about 9 or 10 months old, in my right arm. She is looking down, perhaps mesmerized by the simple scene before her – lights, water, table. Precious, in a white, sleeveless dress, and a pink bow in her hair, like a sweet kiss. She still has baby pudge, but her face is starting to get that person-look. You know, like she isn’t going to be a baby too much longer.
The familiar black framed glasses have slid halfway down my nose. My hair is shockingly long, I can hardly remember what it was like to have hair that I could easily pull up in a ponytail or braid, but there it is, hanging off my shoulder down my back. Like a minister’s stole, even though I’m not in my robe or any other vestments. My hip is cocked to the side a little, like how a youth group girl would pose, as I balance her weight and try to motion with the other hand. My left arm is up slightly, cupping the water that I’m about to pour onto her head, and she is unaware.
I remember barely being aware of anyone but her and her lovely parents, who happen to be two of my favorite people and I miss now. I know they are seated in the front but to the side in my periphery. It’s an honor, but completely surreal to be administering this sacrament for their first baby, and offering the promises as signified by this act – the promise that little C’s life is sealed in God’s love. I can hear my own voice, “C, I baptize you…”