Previous Challenge Entry (Level 1 – Beginner)
Topic: Christian Baptism (10/18/07)
TITLE: A Stranger in the River
By Jennifer Wetter
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My heart ached but for what I truly didn’t know, it longed for nothing that this world could truly offer. I’d experienced this emotions and thoughts longer than I could remember.
I realized that God would reveal himself to me in His time. But I couldn’t help but pray that today would be today.
The sweltering heat of the Judean sun soaked onto my face and through my clothes. I attempted to shield the blinding sun from my face but it was very difficult to do with one hand. One hand blocked the blinding gaze while the other balanced my basket of my family’s clothes.
My thoughts were quietly interrupted by a familiar voice, a too familiar voice. The voice of a woman I truly did not like.
“Hello Habasi,” Rachel sneered. “Has God spoken to you lately?”
I blushed, “I...um...am just blocking the sunlight from my face. Would you not agree that it’s balmy today, Rachel?”
Rachel snorted, “Yes, I suppose. So what about this God of yours? Has he spoken from His Heaven yet or have you seen His face?”
“Oh wait,” she mocked. “I don’t even believe that your God exists.”
I muttered, “I long for the day I can stand in His Presence.”
“It’s going to be a long wait then,” she suggested.
“Everything is in His time not mine and certainly not yours,” I said.
“Why you insolent Jewish slave,” she stammered. “I should have your tongue.”
I smiled, “As much as I’d love to continue this theological discussion. I have work to do and a God to wait for.”
I sauntered past the woman her mouth stuttering to find the perfect insult. I waved goodbye and continued by daily walk toward the Jordan River. After all I realized tha these clothes would not wash themselves.
The sweltering heat was lightly combated by the coolness of the river as I leaned forward to take a small drink. I was drawing my face from the water my attention was diverted to a small gathering around two men.
One was dressed in clothes made from camel’s hair, a leather belt and a rough disposition. I smiled as he resembled a man that spent too much time in the wilderness. He was in a heavily debated conversation with a man dressed in a simple white robe, a tied roped belt and sandals.
My interest was certainly piqued and I was wondering what these two men were doing near the river. I continued staring as both men waded through the river rapids toward the center of the Jordan.
For a moment I felt like a gentle hand was pushing me toward these two men. My heart and my feet hurried down the bank of the Jordan River.
The man wearing simple clothes was submerged into the river by the wilderness man.
I yelled, “Please stop you’re drowning him. He’s going to die if you don’t stop.”
My pleas and my cries were ignored by the two men.
Suddenly a gentle breeze blew through the rustling and an overwhelming illumination from the heavens. I feel to my knees in fear, quietly praying for a quick and painless death. I peeked through my trembling fingers and saw a beautiful white dove descending from heaven.
Instead of death, a voice of rushing waters resounded, “This is my Son, whom I love; with him I am well pleased.”
Just as quickly it had begun, the dove disappeared and the illumination from subsided.
“Have I finally heard your voice and seen your face Lord,” I gazed heavenward. “Is this what I have so long waited for?”
A gentle hand clasped my shoulder, “What have you waited for, my lady?”
I spun around only to see His face, the one the voice had spoken of.
“Are you Him,” I whispered. “The one foretold of so long ago.”
“I am,” he gently touched my face.
“Lord, what must I do,” I inquired.
He pointed toward the river and the wild man immersing an individual in the river just as my Lord had been.
My face beamed as I waded through the waters of the Jordan River towards my Savior and my salvation.
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