Tuesday, July 31, 2012

Heroes of the Faith

            Early this week, two souls were added to the body of Christ. On Monday evening, Ladarius Adams was added to the body of Christ. Though he is young, he was determined to follow Jesus from his youth, and be an example to his friends. Certainly anytime a young soul obeys the Lord, we are, or at least should be, inspired and encouraged in our faithfulness as well. While we don’t want to downplay any baptism, the baptism is Ms. Louise Jay was certainly one that I will never forget.

            Our sister Jay is 72 years old. That seems rare enough, someone advanced in their age obeying the Gospel of Christ. Not only is she older than most who obey, but Ms. Jay also suffers from Parkinson’s disease to the extent that she is wheelchair bound. She can barely stand on her own, and walking alone is out of the question, but still she wanted to study. Our sister Sue Calloway took up the task of studying with her off and on over a period of two years, and sister Jay finally was decided she needed to be baptized for the remission of her sins.

            The nursing home she lives in has a tub that we were hoping she could be immersed in for simplicity’s sake but we were out of luck with that, so to the church building it was. When we arrived at the building, sister Jay was ready to go. We got her to the steps that led up to the baptistery, and with the help of Jeremy Smith and Curt Porter we started moving her up the steps. Sister Jay can walk a bit with help and railing, but I don’t think I’ve ever seen her move like she did. We were all trying to get her to slow down, take a break, sit down on Curt’s knee and rest, but she refused and kept going. She finally made it to the top of the steps and sat down so she could scoot down into the water. She made her confession and we slid her into the water. With the three of us holding her, she was under and up quickly, but it was a life changing moment, for her, but also for me.

           A lot of us tend to be like Moses when faced with doing the work of God. We like to make excuses about why we can’t do it. “People won’t accept me” or “I’m too nervous” or “It’s just too much to ask of someone like me.” I have to wonder if those things went through sister Jay’s mind? Certainly she understood there was danger in climbing up those steps, of being immersed in water given her condition, of trying to get back down the steps wet, and yet she was determined to be immersed. Certainly there is much we can learn from her.

        She reminded me of the Ethiopian Eunuch of Acts 8, when he asked, “See, here is water. What hinders me from being baptized?” In like sense, sister Jay understood that if the means to obey were available, then she was going to obey. The means WERE available, and she DID obey. So today we need to ask ourselves, “What’s my excuse? If a 72 year old who is wheelchair bound can obey the Lord, what’s keeping me from doing it?” Thank the Lord for people like our sister Louise Jay.

1 comment:

  1. Love it! God has been blessing us with a similar response to the teaching of His word in a very small church in a small town on the northern prairies of Alberta Canada.
    It doesn't matter where as long as God is in it and we are in Him. Thanks for the encouraging post!