Daily Prompt: Un/Faithful A Tale of Baptism

Shelley, Dad, Shannon, Spencer

Shelley, Dad, Shannon, Spencer

Daily Prompt: Un/Faithful

Tell us about the role that faith plays in your life — or doesn’t.

Is it a coincidence that

a) the Daily Prompt: Un/Faithful appeared on December 29th, and

b) on the same date, 31 years ago, that my then four-year old brother, Spencer, was baptized?

I think not. 

Father French: Thank you all for gathering here in the House of God to witness Spencer’s Sacrament of Baptism, the first of three Sacraments of Initiation into the Catholic Church. Do you understand what that means Spencer?

father french
Spencer: I get a big white candle?

Father French: Ho. Ho. Yes. Yes. And what do you need to do to get a big white candle? Hmmmm? Can you tell me?


Spencer: Stand up straight. Don’t touch anything. Pay attention and for Christ’s sake, don’t interrupt. Right mom?

Father French:…. Very good. But also because…?

Spencer: ….( I sure do want that big white candle.)


Mom: Spencer.

Spencer: I don’t know.

Father French: Isn’t it also because you are going to welcome…? To welcome who into your heart?

Spencer: (Maybe dad will let me light it and hold it by myself. Fwoooooooshhhhhhh! It’s a jet fighter plane.)

Spencer 2

Mom: Spencer.

Spencer: I don’t know.

Father French: You are going to welcome Jesus Christ into your heart. Do you know who Jesus is, Spencer?

Spencer: (Mwarrrrrraaaaawwwwwnnngg!!!!!! Rat a tat tat tat tat tat!!! Pacheww! Pachewww!!!

Mom: Spencer.

Stephen, me, Spencer, mom

Stephen, me, Spencer, mom

Spencer: I don’t know.

Father French: Jesus is the only son of God. And God is?

Spencer: (Oh no! It’s been hit! It’s on fire! It needs to make a crash landing! 

Mom: Spencer.

Spencer: IIIIIIIIIIIIIIII doooooaaaannnnn’t knooooooooow.

Father French:………………………………..   Family, friends of Spencer, is it not fortuitous that I have no other engagements tonight, so I am able to take my time and thoroughly explain how Jesus came into this world? Would you like that Spencer?
Spencer water

Spencer: (Yessss!!! Water. The jet fighter can land in the water. Here comes the wind. It’s making big waves. REALLY REALLY BIG WAVES!!!!)

Mom: Spencer! No!…  Please answer Father French.

Spencer: Yes, please.

Father French: A long long time ago, Mary and Jesus, true believers in God, travelled to Bethlehem. But once they arrived, there was no room at the inn. 

Spencer: (“Jump!” yelled God. Mary and Joseph jumped out of the plane. Just in time. KABOOOOMMMMM!!!!!!!!! They’re falling! They’re going to hit the ground! They’re going to die!!!  AAIIIIIIIIIEEEEEEEEE!!!!!!! )

Father French: Instead, they stayed in a stable where Jesus, the only son of God, was born in a manger. That very night, angels appeared before the shepherds, who were tending their flocks. They led the shepherds to baby Jesus.

Spencer: (Angels!!!! Angels can save them. Hang on to their wings. Thwap. Thwap. Thwap. Whew! They made it. Oh my goodness that was too close. Mary needs to have a baby named Jesus. And there’s Baby Jesus. Asleep in the manger because he’s soooo tired. I’m tired too.) I’m tired. Can I sit down? The Grandmas got to sit down. I want to sit down too.

Mom: (Whispering) We’re almost done. Please go on Father.

Father French: A star appeared before the three Wise Men. They followed the star bearing gifts of gold, incense and myrrh for baby Jesus.

Spencer: ( Everyone came to see baby Jesus. Shepherds, Wise men… and… and… Donald Duck… and Bugs Bunny. They brought presents of gold, incenseincense??? What is incense?) What is incense?

Father French: It’s like a candle that smells beautiful.

Spencer: Will my candle smell beautiful? Where is my candle? When is he going to finish so I can get my candle? Oh! I need to pee. I’ll pee in that toilet.

Spencer water

Mom: No Spencer! That’s not a toilet! I’m so sorry Father.

Father French: I understand. Sometimes I tend to be a little long winded. But it’s my love of God that makes me go on and on. We are most certainly done with the story of baby Jesus. Now we are ready to start your Baptism Ceremony. It should take us no more than an hour. Let us pray….

1981 Shelley and John married 3

Shelley and John


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