by Tim Gilmore, 7/18/2012
Two months after my mother’s death, end of 1986, I’m 12 years old. Down into the church baptismal pool behind the stage. Backlit. Large cross. Small audience.
I’ve been baptized before. I’ve received salvation, then feared my loss, my lost-ness, then received salvation, then lay awake until four a.m., afraid my faith isn’t good enough, and for that, I’ll burn forever in hell.
So again I wade to the preacher, who holds my right hand in the air, submerges me, then raises me, saying, “I do baptize thee in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Ghost. Buried in the likeness of his death, raised in the likeness of his resurrection!”
I’m resurrected again, re-resurrected, but my mother is not. Once again I fail my faith, the definition of the damned, my mother’s death my unpardonable sin: into which the rest of my life I begin.