There is a list in my head. It is not frequently read. It is just there. Every so often something happens and the list gets a little bit longer. Sometimes when I remember it is there, and I read it, or I add to it, I feel a little less happy than I felt before.
Yesterday my husband and I were invited to witness the baptism of the two daughters of friends of ours. We are not talking her about babies and christenings and a sprinkling of holy water. Our friends are members of a church that practises adult baptism through complete immersion – although it being not a very deep paddling pool, the complete part of it didn’t really happen.
The father of the household had the privilege of performing the rite of passage! He stood beside them in the water as they proclaimed their faith in Jesus. It was by his hand they went under the water (almost under) and by his hand that they were raised up.
It is inevitable that he should be there at their first, natural birth, but quite something precious to be there at their second, supernatural birth. The first time was the result of a conception, the joining of egg and sperm. The second time – a supernatural conception – the joining of the human spirit to divine Holy Spirit. My friends have faithfully lived out their walk with Jesus before their daughters, and now they are seeing the fruit of that.
Because I am not a parent, this is something that I can only see others do. There are no sons or daughters, for me, to baptise. And – yes, that makes me a little sadder than I was. It has been added to the list of things I won't get to do because I am not a parent. Parenthood is not part of my journey.
There are so many things that parents get to do – some perhaps not really what they want to do at all. But not having children really excludes you from a whole plethora of experiences.
My biggest realisation is that I will never be anyone’s grandmother. There is not another generation of Kerrs waiting in the wings. My biggest fear, an offshoot of all that, is ending up alone.
It is a fear, thankfully, that will never come to fruition! Being a part of the body of Christ, planted into a local expression of His church – I don’t get to end up alone. If I do, it’s either a bad church or I am making the choice to isolate myself!