It was a routine Friday in the office. Busy. Fridays and spontaneity don’t mix. There’s too much work to do. I had a meeting early in the afternoon. I turned down a lunch meeting because… well, it is Friday. I moved that lunch request to 3 pm. The topic was to be baptism, so this shouldn’t be too long.
A little after 3, Joseph Medawar showed up with his friend, Kamran. We sat and got acquainted a bit, before I steered the conversation to baptism. Kamran was clearly seeking God and wanted a fresh start in his spiritual journey. He had trusted Christ as Savior as far as I could tell. He answered all my questions. He wanted a fresh start with God and wanted to be baptized.
Great! We have our next baptismal celebration the Sunday before Thanksgiving. We have some folks already wanting to be baptized, so another person is just fabulous. Well. That was my plan. Ordered. But he will be traveling a lot and might not be available. Can we do it another time?
Well, sure. Do you know of anyone with a pool or jacuzzi? No.
Since I’m here and you are here, why can’t we do it today?
As in right now? Yes. I mean…now?
I went through my list of excuses. Drought in California. The baptistry is not clean. You shouldn’t drive back to Beverly Hills with wet underwear. It’s Friday afternoon. My resistance proved futile. Inwardly, I’m objecting. It’s not the way it’s supposed to be. But Kamran was not deterred. He wanted to follow Jesus, and he wanted to be baptized. Why not now? I had no good answer.
We went upstairs and started to fill the tank. Kamran is not a short guy, it’ll take a bit of water. But he’s young and flexible, so it won’t take too much water (his input). I scrounged together the items needed for a baptism while the tank filled. Towels. Water shoes. Empty changing room. I ran to my car and found my gym shorts. I could wear those and leave my pants dry for the trip home. Those are all the details you get.
It came together spontaneously. I don’t do spontaneous very well. When the tank was about half full he said that was enough. And it was.
We went down into the water and read Romans 6. And then it struck me to read the account of Phillip and the Ethiopian eunuch in Acts 8. And as I read the account, standing next to Kamran in a half-filled baptistry, I learned a lesson. This was an Acts 8 moment. Again. I prefer to script my life. Change is tough for me sometimes. But Phillip shared Christ, the eunuch responded, they found some water and it was done. Spontaneously. That was now my experience.
Kamran has an interesting story. He lives in Beverly Hills, so we won’t see him much. His grandmother, however, was the twin sister of the Shah of Iran. But today, he follows Jesus. From Persia to Peninsula and into the waters of baptism. We all must end up at the cross. An apparently spontaneous event, planned before the foundation of the world. Pray for Kamran and his growing walk with Jesus. May his tribe increase.My P