The late Fred Craddock talks about baptism, especially of children, and says he often asks those who request to be baptized, “Why now?” The typical conversation goes like this…

“You want to be baptized?”
“I want to be baptized.”
“Have you been thinking about this very long?”
“Ever since I was little.”
“Well, how old are you now?”
“And you have been thinking about this since you were little?”
“Have you talked to your folks about it?”
“Well, I mentioned it once to my mother. I don’t talk to Dad much about this sort of thing.”
“Well, what did your mother say?”
“She said to talk to you.”
“Okay, let’s talk about it. Why do you want to be baptized, why now, why you, now?”
“I don’t know.”

Craddock suggests the child answers this way, not because he or she is being vague or is not smart enough to figure out what this is all about. It’s because it is so hard to convey the “stirring of the Spirit of God.” He reminds us, “John says you do not know whence it comes or whither it goes; you hear the sound of it and you say, ‘Whew!’ The wind. You did not see the wind.”

My point in citing this has less to do with the subject of baptism than it does with the expression Craddock brings up, “the stirring of the Spirit of God.” In this time of sheltering in place and social isolation, it may be difficult for you to see or sense how the Spirit of God may be stirring in your heart and life. However, I would like for you to consider that this may just be the perfect time to think about it or be open to it.

If nothing else, the crisis we are currently facing could be the opportunity for spiritual reflection, in a way you have never experienced before or in a long, long time. I’m not sure you can conjure up such a stirring of the Spirit (it is God’s gift after all), but I do believe you can prepare yourself to be more receptive to it through prayer and contemplation.

My prayer for you is that you spend time with God and simply be… letting the sense of God’s presence and Spirit slowly seep into your thought and life as never before.


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