Wednesday, June 25, 2008

Copper Fire

Sunday Jesse and I were baptized and joined the Gillett Baptist Church. I was raised Methodist and Jesse Lutheran, so baptism by full immersion was something we've been craving since being saved. The ritual on Sunday was wonderful. An evangelist, Jeremy Frazor, was there with his crew. Jeremy is a powerful speaker, and the one who actually got Jesse in the door of the church back in February. After his message, the pastor gave Jesse and I a signal, and we headed toward the classrooms behind the sanctuary. Jesse had stashed our extra clothes back there earlier, so we quickly slipped into them. We raced back toward the front, meeting the pastor in his waders. He gave each of us a washcloth to place over our nose and mouth to keep the water out. I let Jesse go first so I could watch the process.

The pastor stepped down into the pool first, and Jesse quickly followed him (when his foot first hit the water, he turned around the whisper that the water was nice and warm). It all happened so quickly. Pastor Wagner asked Jesse about his salvation, then put the cloth over his face, and down he went. When Jesse came back up, the pastor gave him a hug. I will never forget the look on Jesse's face as he walked up the stairs toward me as long as I live. Joy, pure joy. The water streamed off of him. His eyes were closed, his head tipped slightly back, and a small smile lifted the corners of his mouth. He didn't look at me at first, but was caught up completely with his Lord. It was so beautiful and amazing, I almost ran down the stairs; I couldn't wait to feel that for myself.

I didn't dare look at the crowd, the tears were already starting to slide down my face. Pastor Wagner asked me if I was saved and believed. I held on to his wrist with both hands, and suddenly, the cloth was over my face, and I was under water. I could hear him intoning the names of the Trinity: Father, Son, and Holy Spirit. I lost my balance, and my foot slipped up out of the water, and it didn't feel like I would ever come up. But then it was over. It was an elastic moment: incredibly long and short all at once.

Jesse and I slid and slipped our way back to the classroom to change back into our church clothes. We laughed and couldn't stop smiling the entire time. When we got back to the front of the church, we met the pastor again (now out of his waders), and we stood in front of the congregation and said that yes, we agreed with their charter. Pastor asked them if we should be admitted as members; they shouted Amen! as their answer, and we're now Baptists!

Copper Fire by Suzanne Woods Fisher is the second book in the Copper Star series. Louisa Gordon has started a new life for herself in Copper Springs, Arizona. She's married to Robert, the pastor in the small community, raising his deaf son, William, as her own, and putting up with his crotchety aunt Martha. But when word comes that her cousin Elisabeth has been found in a Red Cross camp for displaced persons in Germany, she races to bring her home, and just maybe discover information about Friedrich Mueller, the man who devastated Copper Springs. Although this is the second in the series, you don't need to have read the previous book to get caught up. Fisher fills in the holes well while moving the story along swiftly. Louisa worked in the Resistance in Germany before her friend Dietrich Bonhoeffer helped her escape to freedom in the US. This is a fantastic book that explores a side of World War II rarely seen. Louisa loves her home country of Germany and is unashamed of it. Fisher helps separate the Nazis and Hitler from the German people and shows how they suffered at the end of the war. Elisabeth, who spent time in Dachau, is angry and not an easy character, but Louisa stands up for her and loves her unconditionally, showing the people of Copper Springs the true horrors of the war and how it effected a young girl. Throw into this drama a compelling plot about theft and spies, and Fisher has created an unforgettable novel with depth and faith.

It seems like Sunday has precipitated a week of changes. I can't talk about it yet, but I'm just dying to tell you! Hopefully I'll have some very good news very soon! Today's pic if Molly and her best friend Beth at camp last week.