There was a moment of decision, a pause, before the rich woman vaulted over the railing of her dock into the lake. A Platinum Visa credit card escaped from the folds of somebody’s pocket, swirled in the upset water, and sank slowly to the dark mud bottom. She still had on 40 karats worth of diamonds in all including earrings, tennis bracelet, and rings. I saw her from below, where I swam with the rest of the group, hanging close to my husband’s back where it was warmer in the night water.
We clasped onto each other’s shoulders in a circle—were we treading water?–singing church songs at the top of our lungs. Our voices faded into the openness of the lake though we were about thirty in all. It felt good to be foolish, to sing my heart out for once, and to let my voice rise over the rippling black water. That night God-spirit touched human flesh soaked and jumping off the dock railing—cannon ball.
I guess that part of it all began the afternoon when Chris went outside, looked up at the growling sky, and said—“Bring it on! I’m still going!” Lightning flashed from the clouds at the edge of the lake. He turned his back on it and returned inside.
So when He put one foot inside his swimming trunks and then another, pulled them to his waist and cinched them with a tight knot, he knew he was going to die. He would, this time, put himself to death so he could never come back.
A hand on Chris’ shoulder belonged to a bearded man who would help him end it all. They were waist deep in water and sixty eyes looked on. The tension was as palpable as the same scene 2,000 years ago when Christ put one foot after another into the Jordan.
Chris took one last breath into his lungs and was slammed down into the black water violently. In that second, a bloody man nailed to Roman wood groaned and exhaled with finality.
And Christ was lifted out of the water, new. He was, finally, eternity and spirit pierced and filled to the brim in every pore. Reborn.