So normally this is the part where I am supposed to post something about the miracle of life or the wonder of fatherhood and the incredible love that I have learned about as I look at my baby girl. All of those things are wonderful and true, but there was something else that overwhelmed me just this last weekend at church and it really stood out as something to share.
This Sunday in the worship service, Brittany and I baptized our little girl, Henrietta, and it was one of the most wonderful and emotional experiences of my life.
For the majority of the service, I was on the verge of tears. The entire time, all I could think about was bringing Hattie up on stage and point of the baptism where the congregation is asked if they will walk alongside both Brittany and I as parents, but also Hattie as she grows into the community of faith and to help her as she grows to own a faith of her own. I have been a part of this church for seven years now. I have met some incredible people who have blessed my life immensely. Looking out over the congregation and seeing the men, women, students, and children who have extended their love to me so much and hearing them as one body voice their commitment to my family and especially to my little girl was utterly more than I could handle.
Reflecting on it afterwards, I was struck by how this simple moment was honestly more striking than even right after she was born. When she was born, Brittany and I were ecstatic and overwhelmed, but at the same time it was a sense of normalcy. This is our child. It is natural for us to love her and to struggle through the logistics of raising her. It was overwhelming because the big question was, “Well we have a baby now, now what?” The thing that struck me in that moment at Hattie’s baptism was that I had an answer to the question of “Now what?”
Our family stood with us and supported us and will continue to do so. That my parents and sister could be there was the icing on the cake. Henrietta has a beautiful tradition of the faith to lean on and people who will walk with her as she struggles through life and works out just what it means for her to be a part of this bizarre and wonderful thing that is the Body of Christ.