Once I reached the alter, a acolyte wearing a black cassock and white surplice approached me and offered me a hug. I was shocked at first, till I noticed the acolyte had shoulder length brown hair and baby blue eyes and a soft heart shaped face, I could place the face but not the name, then when she spoke I knew who it was.
"So proud of you Jamie." The acolyte whispered to me as she stepped back and took me by the hand. "Where all so proud of you." Then it hit me like a verbal ton of bricks. The young women holding my hand was Madeline, the girl who was making waves around town. And of I might be so bold, my idol in some ways. Madeline took my hand into hers and guided me toward the center of the alter. A cushion had been placed upon the ground.
Then from the side room, two selectmen of the church came out. Each one was holding the end of a child size wadding pool. The two placed the small pool down in front of the alter and Madeline once more took my hand and helped me to step over the small plastic wall. Once I was standing in the pool, she made the motion for me to kneel down. Blushing deeply, I kneeled down. I could feel the eyes of everybody in the congregation focused in one me. And if I had eyes in the back of my head, I'm sure I'll noticed some two hundred or so people all shifting there attention toward the girl in a wide dress, kneeling in a children's wadding pool, clutching a buddle of lilies.
I looked to the side and Madeline gave me a thumps up. She then dipped into a side room and appeared a few seconds later, in her hand she held a bundle of white towels and a sterling silver pitcher that seemed to be filled with water. Pitcher and towels in hand she stood beside Fr. Brown who moved toward the pool, taking a deep breath he unfolded his large, brown leather covered Book of Common Prayer to a marked page. He looked down at the book, nodded his head and said.
"The Lord be with you." He called out.
"And also with you." The people respond.
"Christ be with you." He called out again.
"And also with you." The people respond.
"The Holy Ghost be upon you this day." He called out again.
"Jamie Sarah Potter, is it your wish, and desire to be baptized into the one, holy catholic and apostolic church?"
"Yes." I responded.
"Jamie Sarah Potter, will you devote yourself to the study of scriptures and following in the teachings of the one, holy catholic and apostolic church?"
"Jamie Sarah Potter, will you reject from this day forward, the temptation of the devil, and follow more closely in the teaching of the church."
"I will with Gods help."
"Jamie Sarah Potter, will you, from this day forward, minister to the lost, tend to the sick, seek the lost, support the church with your prayers, donations and talents?"
"I will with God's help."
Fr. Brown then turned toward all those gathered and in a loud booming tone of voice called out.
"Would you, who saw, and heard this vow, like wise vow to guide, support, and minister to your new sister in Christ Jesus, Jamie Sarah Potter?"
A loud call respond to the call.
"Will all you gathered here, welcome Jamie Sarah Potter into your hearts? And accepted her as a child of God?" He called out even louder. And the people responded even louder.
"Will all of you who have gathered here, respect, love and cherish Jamie Sarah Potter, accepted her as who she is."
"Jamie Sarah Potter." Fr. Brown said picking up the pitcher. Slowly he started to pour the water over my head, it was ice cold and cause chills to run down the spine of my neck.
"I baptize you in the name of the Father, the Son and the Holy Spirit." He said as he tipped the pitcher over and poured the last few ounces of ice cold water over my head. The water ran off and pooled at the bottom of the wadding pool. As I watched the water pool in front of me, I felt a sudden sense of peace come over me as I looked up and noticed the morning sun streaming through the big stain-glass window above the alter.
The bright rays of the sun seemed to shimmer as they filtered down around me, bathing me in light. I then noticed what appeared to be small balls of fire falling down around me, the balls of flicking orange and yellow flame seemed to dance around me, I could feel the heat rolling off of them. The orbs flickered and fluttered and then seemed to enter inside of me, my whole body felt boiling hot as it fever had come over me. The coldness of the water made me shiver. The cold water cooled my skin that was turning redder by the second from the heat of the flames that had just entered me.
Then a white dove appeared, the bird seemed to appear out of no where, my eyes followed it as it flew around the church a few times before diving down and smacking into my head. A sense of odd peace followed the bird smacking into my head. I then.. I then felt at peace, and for the first time in a long time I felt at peace with myself. What had started out as a request by my big sister, had now become my new life. And it seemed the big man himself approved of it.
I then felt something warm being placed over my shoulders. I looked up and noticed Madeline had climbed into the pool and was now placing a warm towel around my shoulders. Not that I need the towel, the dress was for the most part fine and only my hair had gotten wet. Smiling though, I reached up and grappled the corner of the towels and wrapped them tightly around me.
"Thank you." I said blushing as I tried to stand up.
Madeline then leaned over and wrapped her arms around my shoulder and drew me into a tight hug.
"Welcome home sis," She said smiling. "Welcome home and we totally need to have a sleepover too sometimes." She whispered the last part into my ears as she helped me to my feet. Fr. Brown stepped a little closer and once I was standing, he reached over and placed his thumb on my forehead.
"Jamie Sarah Potter. I confirm in you and seal in you, the gifts of the Holy Spirit." He said in a loud booming tone of voice He traced a small cross upon my forehead and then he reached out and helped me out of the wadding pool. He then stood me in front of the crowd. Once I was facing the crowd, he came to my right and Madeline appeared on my left.
"Rejoice brothers and sisters, for Jamie Sarah Potter was once lost, she is now found. She was once dead, but now she lives. The kingdom of heaven rejoices because one lost sheep has been found." He called out in a booming tone of voice.
And the people responded
A few days after I was baptized a few of the older, more conserved members of the church slipped away from the flock. I suppose they found a new church home at the 'Word of Life and Faith Church of God' that the disgraced Rev. John Mark had founded after being run off from First Baptist. He seemed in the business of collecting all the bigots in town. Among the list of known members where Mr. Perry, Mr. Henderson, both acting as deacons for the church. And among the rank and file where a few dozen others. The church was located deep in the woods, no doubt surrounded by barbwire fence and patrolled by rednecks toting shotguns on there shoulders while chewing big chunks of snuff.
And Lily finally made good on her promise. As promised she took me to Jackson to see a new anime movie. Later we went to the mall and did some shopping. We'll we hit two malls, first we searched the Metro Center from top to the bottom. Then we drove halfway across the capital to pillage North Park. We left town with a trunk full of clothing and daddies credit card maxed out. Or so I like to think we did. Anyway that the end of that story. Stay tuned for more updates from Benton.
Jamie Sarah Potter.
The end of The New Life of Jamie Sarah of Potter the adventures of Jamie continue in Its Halloween Jamie Potter.