The baptism of my friend Mary on Saturday was incredible. I actually had the kind of mountaintop spiritual experience there that left me looking down at my day-to-day problems and feeling like they really aren't problems after all. It left me feeling like most of the things I worry about and wrestle with just don't even register much in the light of God's love.
I got to see my friend Mary transformed. I've watched her go through so much pain and doubt and anguish of soul, but Saturday there was just such a peace and assurance about her. I saw calm and light and confidence. After all the wrestling, she finally knew this was the right thing to do, and she was doing it. She stood there literally like an angel. I was astonished.
And the Spirit there was so powerful and so pure. I had envisioned this event for a long time (from the first time I met Mary), and had always imagined that I would weep to see my friend take this step. But the only way I can describe the baptism Saturday is to say that the Spirit was so clear and so strong and so resplendent, there was no room for weeping. I think I finally understand what it means in the Book of Revelation when it says that in the Celestial Kingdom, Christ shall wipe away all our tears. It was joy beyond tears. I just sat there and glowed. I tried to describe it in an email I sent Mary yesterday, and the best I could say was that it was like being filled with light, from the bottoms of my heels to the top of my head.
There were tears though, later... As soon as the service ended, Mary turned around to give me a hug. And then the tears were like a waterfall. I actually sobbed, great, big, billowy sobs. It was embarrassing, actually -- I almost wanted to leave. I so wanted what she now had. I wanted to go in at the gate, as she just had. I felt so alone, still outside.
Mary knew what I was feeling, without me saying a word. She whispered into my ear: "I won't leave you behind." I am so thankful for Mary.
I know what is most valuable in life. It is to be in the presence of God, to be filled with God's pure light and love. I understand that we can only see what we are. And to become, we must pass through this vale of tears. So let us continue on...