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Finding God in the Story of Your Life

It’s a beautiful day…

My son Aaron waded gingerly into the murky water of the pond in the front lawn of our church. Along with hundreds of other people, he was getting baptized. In a large church like ours, baptism is a spectacle of sorts. People picnic on the lawn and cheer as a dozen people at a time are dunked under the water.

Ten feet out from the wooden stairs into the lake was Scott Rubin, the leader of Elevate, our junior high ministry. Scott knows our family, and knows Aaron. In a church that baptizes 300 people at a time and has close to 20,000 attending each weekend, it’s easy to get lost in the crowd. To have someone know you is no small gift.

As Aaron stood between Scott and Jason (another leader from Elevate), I watched from the dock, my camera ready. He had gone into the pond with serious intentions—he did not take this step lightly. But as they stood there, waiting for others to make their way to other pastors and elders standing in the pond, Scott began talking to Aaron. I couldn’t hear what he was saying, but I watched Aaron’s expression change from serious to tender. He looked as if he were about to cry. I lifted my sunglasses so he could see my eyes, which were also filled with tears. Thankfully, my daughter was beside me taking photos, because I was too caught up in the moment to do much with my own camera.

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He told me later that Scott had told him, “Aaron, you’ve got a great family, but this is just about you. God is watching you this moment, and this is about you and God.”

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I’m sure that Scott said more to my boy in those few moments in the pond. I know he and Jason baptized a lot of junior high kids that day, and it would be easy for it to begin to feel routine for them. But I am so grateful that he made an effort to speak truth to my son, to affirm and encourage him in this important step. Scott and his wife Lynette have loved on both my kids for years, and I’m so incredibly grateful for their ministry at our church.

We talked at dinner about what happened—in his typical 13-year-old introvert way, he just told us some of the things Scott had said, and that he had felt like he might cry. He didn’t really tell us much about what he had felt, but when he came out of the water, he said he felt “achieved.” Which, I didn’t tell him, is not a feeling, precisely. But I know him well enough to understand.

He’s a quiet, creative child in a family of strong, leader types. But thanks to a sensitive and encouraging leader, he realized that this was his moment. A defining moment, a rite of passage, that no one else could do for him. He was following Jesus on his own, rather than being just swept along in the crowd of our little Christian family, or our big Christian church. To witness this day was a gift.

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4 Comments

  1. What a beautiful moment, Keri. Thank you for sharing it with us.

  2. Keri, this was beautiful. How right you are — what a gift. Thanks for sharing it with us.

  3. What a beautiful testimony for your son to have when ,in his life’s journey, he needs to remember this day.

    My husband and I were Scott’s confirmation teachers many years ago in Grand Rapids, Michigan. Our daughter was also in the class and Scott and Jill HAD to attend and griped each Sunday. But, Scott is now in ministry and Jill is now the mother of four wonderful teens and a strong Christian woman.

    Your church has a fantastic young leader in Scott. We have read some of his books and articles and he is a mentor to be praised – for the work he is doing to lead others to Christ.

    We are so proud of him and Lynette. Scott’s folks are dear, dear friends and we are honored to have received this lovely tribute of Scott’s walk with your son.

    Jane and Doug Maxim
    Canadian Lakes, Michigan

  4. Jane, how cool is that? Thanks for stopping by and giving us a glimpse of the legacy. Scott also led a small group my daughter was a part of when she was in junior high. he and Lynette live near us and have had a profound influence on our kids. Thank you for building into Scott when he was a little guy–your influence is being passed on to my children, and I’m grateful for your faithfulness!!
    Keri

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