I was the youngest child in our baptist church to be baptized. The baptists don’t baptize you when you are a baby like the catholics. They believe you have to be old enough to understand what you are doing and to want to do it.
I think it was the summer of 1971. I was a devout born again. I loved church and all that it stood for. I wanted to do everything right. I was five.
I remember being home one morning with my mother. My dad was at work. My brothers at school. She was playing the piano and singing away. I was bored, as usual. I saw the light in the hallway was still on… and I sat and stared at it… mesmerized… just looking and feeling the burn. I had never done that before. And, when I looked away… suddenly I couldn’t see so good. There was a big spot everywhere I looked. What had I done???
Worried, I interrupted my mother’s piano playing. You had to be insistent to get my mom’s attention… and I was… getting a little more frantic each time she didn’t respond and noticing the “spot” was following me everywhere.
Worried, I asked her, “Mommy?! What is that light? That spot following me??”. Finally, I had her attention. She curiously examined the room and inspected where I was looking. She asked me if I still saw it. I said yes… I was scared.
She however, suddenly acted like she was filled with glee! She was so happy, I suddenly was too! She excitely told me I was seeing the holy spirit!”
I was confused. She explained it was sort of like a gohst… but, that it was a GOOD gohst… it was an ANGEL… It was a MIRACLE!! She began praising the lord and praying and hugging me…
She asked me over and over, excited and happy, “can you still see it?? where was it now??”
I replied ethusiastically, “yes… it’s there! no… wait… there!… now there!! it’s followinig me!”
Gradually, the spot faded away and my vision was back. I was relieved. She seemed let down.
But not for long. She promptly called the pastor and all her church friends and told them her little girl had just seen the holy spirit.. an angel! I must be special. And, that while she was worshiping the lord in song and music… I had been visited by God himself… holy-gohst style!
She was so darn proud. Hell, I was too. I didn’t know what I did… but, if she thought it was great and said I was special… well, then… It must be!
She had me meet with the pastor that week, and the following Sunday I was baptized before the church. He said I was the youngest child he ever baptized. He asked me, are you sure you know what you are doing? What it means to be born again and baptized?? I thought, are you kidding? Of course I knew! I was five whole years old and a miracle child. LOL
That Sunday, I remember feeling very confused as I stood in line with all these grown ups waiting to be baptized. What the heck was going on? I didn’t even know how to swim yet? Where was my life jacket?? I was scared… they all assured me it was fine. When I actually got baptized, I remember him picking me up, in my long wet white shirt, so the congregation could see me. They all applauded and I thought, wow… am I special or what?? It’s good to be born-again!
About a week later, I must’ve been bored again and I stared into a light bulb again. Hey!?!? Whadda ya know?? The spot was back!!! This time, my brother was there… he obviously knew about this trick and he stared with me and we both watched the spots come and go.
I remember silently figuring it out in my head. I had NOT seen the holy spirit… It was NOT a miracle… It was what happens when you stare in a light-bulb. Who knew???? Well… now I knew.
I thought about telling my mother about… but, I didn’t want to disappoint her. She was so happy. Besides, had I done something wrong? Would I get in trouble for lieing? Even thoght I didn’t know what it was? And, what about being baptized??? I had already done it. Would it be in trouble? Would my mom get in trouble?
I decided a couple things that day…
1) I couldn’t believe my mom about everything… and she didn’t know everything.
2) It was easier to keep my mouth shut and play along than to upset the apple cart.
I was half right, at least…