Need Some Tissues
It was on my heart recently to write about an experience I had. The day started off a little rocky as I got to church later than I wanted to. I proceeded to sit in the upper deck section with Noelle, which I’d never experienced before. 1
No lie, it reminded me of when I was a young boy and went to a Philadelphia Eagles game at the Vet. 2 I sat way up in the 700 level. But that Sunday I got a beer dumped on my head, so it was already a different experience at church.
During the service we heard stories from people who were being baptized. Over the years I’d never quite understood baptism. I mean, yes I knew what it was, but what the heck does dunking you in some water do? Does everyone smell that bad?
Compassion flows from having been there.
But our pastor did a great job of explaining the process, the symbolism, and what was about to happen. Then the baptisms started and stories began to flow from those people, with many variations.
There were mentions of anxiety, depression, medical issues, addictions, rape, pain, struggle, confusion, you name it.
At one point Noelle and I had tears flowing down our cheeks. You see, before we ever met, each of us had been there. Our stories also came with much pain, suffering and confusion. 3
You are loved, important, and never alone!
Tough relationships with many people, brain surgery, abuse, watching a child go through medical issues, custody battles, resentment, anger. The list keeps going, but you get the point.
As we listened to the stories, we remembered all God had done in our lives and knew what He was doing in theirs as well. The tears kept flowing. We didn’t have tissues so we sleeved up!
If you relate to this, I want you to know something. God sees you. I see you. Noelle sees you. You Are Loved! You Are Important! You Are Not Alone! Never doubt what God can do through your brokenness.
Love God, love people, stay positive, and be great!
Ross Buckwalter grew up in Ephrata, PA, and knew the heavy burdens of life at an early age. After a professional baseball career, more burdens brought him to a breaking point in 2019, but God intervened and saved him. Today Ross spreads hope, joy and positivity…sharing how he can see God in the good, the bad, and the darkest of times. Ross lives in Lancaster, PA, has a son, as well as a daughter with special needs. Check him out on facebook.
Footnotes: (1) Noelle is my dear friend who has experienced many of the same difficulties in life as I have. (2) The Philadelphia Eagles are a team in the National Football League (American football). Their home field from 1971 to 2002 was Veterans Stadium, also known as the Vet. (3) Noelle shared her story at a baptism service in 2018. I shared mine in 2020.
Pictures: Banner: New Life, Design Pics/Don Hammond, Getty Images. (1) Baptism, Evangel Church, goevangel.org. (2) Sharing Baptism, Finbarr O’Reilly, Reuters. (3) 2 Corinthians 1:4, creator unknown. (4) Author Ross Buckwalter.