I was baptized 61 years ago today. Here, my Uncle John is holding me in his lap. He drove from Memphis to Farmington, Missouri to baptize me on January 10, 1960. At the time, my father was assistant superintendent of the Presbyterian Home for Children of Missouri.
Three weeks earlier, just before my second birthday, I was formally adopted into the family of George and Roberta Wingard, believers in Christ and members of the Covenant of Grace. Good Presbyterians, they believed the promises of the covenant are for believers and their children. Together, parents and child, share the sign and seal of the covenant – baptism. As many have said, when the sheep belong to the Savior, the lambs do, too. When they made their home my home, they made their church my church. I treasure my adoption and my baptism. The Lord placed me in a family, and when he did, he also made me a part of something greater – his church.
It takes a great deal of courage to put your child up for adoption. Imagine what it would be like to entrust your infant into the care of a stranger. Every child is helpless – dependent on the sustenance and care of others. Throughout my childhood, teenage, and college years, God gave me a succession of church homes that taught me the scriptures, took an interest in my spiritual well-being, and encouraged me to pursue ministry.
I’m no longer a child, but the time may come when I am once again helpless. My baptism reminds me that at every stage of life I am wholly dependent on my Father in heaven.
The toy chest in the lower right corner is the only piece of furniture I possess from my childhood. It gives me pleasure to see my grandchildren use it when they come to Yazoo City.