Baptism - FamilyEducation

Baptism

December 08,2009
Talia's Blog
Talia Rivera

Talia Rivera is a 33-year-old mother of two. As Executive Director of Villages without Walls, she works with high-risk gang members in Boston. [Read more]

The preacher was offering us another life. I was tired of mine. I wanted what he had. I stepped out into the church’s aisle and walked to the altar. It seemed a mile away. But I was willing to walk it. Kendra followed. Ministers stood spread across the altar. A church mother stretched out her arms. I stretched out mine. I took hold of both of her hands with both of mine. "Do you want to accept Christ into your life?" she asked with a West Indian twang. "Yes," I answered. "Do you believe that Jesus died on the cross for your sins?" "Yes." "Do you want to be baptized?" I asked Kendra, "Are you going to get baptized?" "If you are," she replied. I turned to the mother and said, "Yes." She led Kendra and me to a backstairs, and down into a small room. She gave each of us a long white robe, a white t-shirt, white underwear, and a white swimming cap. When we were done changing our clothes, the pastor came downstairs. She said, "This is the best decision that you will ever make. Your life is going to change." We walked back up the stairs. A man waited inside the baptismal pool. He offered me his arm. I held his hand. He helped me down into the pool. He told me to cross my arms over my chest. He said, "Upon the confession of your faith I baptize you in the name of Jesus for the remission of your sins and you shall receive the gift of the Holy Ghost." I laid back into his arms. He lowered me slowly into the water. I inhaled. I remembered my old life. I remembered my mother. I remembered the lies she told me. I remembered her being beaten. I remembered the crack residue smeared on the kitchen table. I remembered the tears I cried as I laid underneath the covers at night. I remembered rap. I remembered my lyrics. I remembered the sound of music. I remembered Jayda. I remembered Samantha. I remembered Porshai. I was lifted up out of the water. I breathed out. I was new.