A couple of weeks ago, I came to church feeling groggy from my earrache. I didn’t focus much on the worship music. Half of me could not hear it anyways. Instead I focused more on what I could see.
In my state of grogginess, feeling like I had been run over with a truck, I noticed more and more of the visuals surrounding me. People’s hair, the shoes people wore, jackets and t-shirts. I’m not even sure if I heard half of the sermon but what I did notice in this new little church were the steps to the baptismal.
I’m a very artistic person. I love to study architecture and design. I like DIY projects and thriftstore hunting for the perfect piece to compliment empty space in a room. As a resident to a new apartment, I can tell you there’s a lot of it! My brain is constantly buzzing with the potential that can be brought into the spaces us humans inhabit.
I wonder if I only half heard what was happening in church this morning so I would focus more on what my eyes could see. I’ll never know. Most any time I’ve seen a baptism though, the steps have always gone down. These steps went up.
I don’t think there was any theological message implied in building the baptismal that way. There simply was not one already built into the new auditorium, so what do you do? Bring in a separate tank. Bring in some steps. Viola! It works. DIY Baptismal 101.
But it does make a statement nonetheless. You go up to meet Jesus.
So much of the Christian walk is an uphill climb. Some of those baby steps are the most exciting: baptism, first mission trip, the first salvation you see of someone else. Maybe its seeing your first miracle.
At 25 it’s so easy to think that Jesus is “down there” where the baby steps were. It’s easy for me to think that somehow I left Jesus very very far behind me. It is easy for me think that just because my Christian walk is no longer always easy or exciting, Jesus is somehow less real than he was yesterday or the day before or many years ago.
I keep thinking in the back of my mind: “I should be more excited about this!” I know I wish I were. I know I wish it wasn’t so awkward to find where to serve, build new friendships, and really dig in deep at this age. But it is weird.
My high school youth group always told us “Keep Grace Weird” ( a spinoff of “Keep Austin Weird”). I’m glad they did. I’m a slightly weird person even to this day. I’m glad grace is for the weird, as well as for the all-considered “normal” people out there.
There are plenty of steps ahead. It feels weird, but grace will always be available no matter how high the climb.
I’m sure the view from there is also pretty great.