As he [John the Baptist] preached he said, “I’m baptizing you here in the river, turning your old life in for a kingdom life. His [Jesus] baptism—a holy baptism by the Holy Spirit—will change you from the inside out.” Mark 1:7-8
I have had different experiences with rivers. As a child my family frequently went to our neighbor’s cabin in the woods along the Skunk River near Ames, Iowa. Where the river made a bend, sand bars formed, and we’d go there to swim on hot Sunday afternoons. My mother told me the story about one day, when I was around three years old, we were swimming at the river. I went missing and our neighbor, Big John, saw something white floating on the river and pulled me out by my blond hair. Apparently, I was young enough that it didn’t affect me, as I continued to swim in that river.
I have learned over my lifetime to respect water because it can become deadly. Just as Big John saved me from drowning, I had the opportunity to save my husband at a company outing when he got into water over his head.
Now, whenever the weather permits, I sit for hours at a time by Dunnings Creek near Bedford, Pennsylvania. Sometimes I write; often I just watch the water rush or trickle down the creek and feel thankful my life.
Lord, thank you for life-giving water that cleanses us from the inside out. Amen.