Monday, June 13, 2011

New Harry

Harry. My complicated one. The one that challenges my mind. The one that challenges my trust in God. He is fiercely independent, knows what he wants in life and wants to get it. He is also lazy - not a good quality for an independent child.

He is intelligent beyond his years. Sensitive above most middle school boys. Insightful and in tune to issues such as justice, compassion and righteousness. And he questioned his faith in God greatly.

He was NOT content to "be a Christian because Mom and Dad are Christians". I know it is odd for a 6 year old to come out of Sunday School angry, asking things like "How does my teacher KNOW the Bible is the word of God?" and "Why do Christians walk around our church not acting like Christians?" He asked complicated things like, "What if scientific evidence doesn't completely point to evolution, how can I say that was the way the world came to be?" or "Dinosaurs are the coolest thing ever! Why did God want them extinct? Did they co-habitate with people?"

Harry was tormented nightly be horrible dreams. He could never shut off his brain enough to relax and go to sleep. He walks around with dark circles under his eyes and he often steals away to a quiet place to simply contemplate life.

Joe and I prayed over this little boy fervently. We prayed for his spiritual health and we prayed that God would someday use his brilliant mind for His glory. We prayed for protection, especially at night.

We prayed that family would accept him and not make him feel that he is different. And God blessed Joe and I with visions of Harry as we dreamed. He also has spoken to men in my family about how special Harry is.

But, we never knew if this day would come. When Joe and Eleanor chose to be baptized, Harry scoffed a bit and said, "No one is going to tell me when I will do this. I don't know if I will ever be baptized." Joe and I waited.

And then, Harry being Harry, turned in a form at church saying he wanted to be baptized. He didn't talk to us...he didn't ask us..he did it all on his own. He didn't want to attend the "kid class", instead, he entered a room of adults to learn and study believer's baptism. He wrote his testimony on his own, not asking for any help or advice and he reluctantly gave it to me to turn in for him. I promised him I would not put on my "teacher's hat" and try to edit it.

Sunday came and Harry packed his bag, walked to the appropriate room on his own and then began his journey to the pond. What a beautiful day! Sunny skies. Temperatures in the 60s (yes, cold for JUNE!!), and hundreds of members sat on the grassy hill to watch 63 people proclaim their faith in Jesus.

We heard amazing testimonies of adults finally sick of the selfish life they had been living, college students who had made really bad choices, former drug addicts who were ready to be born again, and beautiful people with disabilities who have immense joy in knowing their Lord and Savior!

Harry was number 61. We waited a LONG time to hear his story and watch him be baptized. The speaker began reading his testimony and he shared how he finally chose to believe on the way home from the Dollar Store after talking with me. Funny, I don't remember that conversation - we had so many spiritual conversations in the car! He said that he had so many questions, but he finally decided to JUST BELIEVE. Everyone giggled at the Dollar Store part. And then, the reader went on sharing Harry's words. "On that day, I felt as if an anvil had been lifted off my shoulders and I started calling myself New Harry." The crowd laughed and some cheered.

He walked into the water and the elder said, "New you believe Jesus is your Lord and Savior?" Harry emphatically answered, "Yes."

He went down into the water, and came up (sputtering a bit - and obviously shocked by the cold water!). The crowd cheered loudly! There were some hoots from dear friends of ours and Eleanor and I screamed! Joe was down by the pond ready to wrap his son, New Harry, into a beach towel. They hugged and Harry came to sit next to us, shivering, but smiling from ear to ear.

After it was over, and Harry had dried off and changed his clothes, he said, to me, "Mom...I am so happy. I can't explain it...I am just so, so happy!"

I told him that was JOY. And God is looking down on his son and saying, "I am pleased with you, New Harry."

1 comment:

Bear Creek Mama said...

Awe....what a special baptism story.

Wish I could know this brother of mine one day. I think I would like him.