“I baptize you in the name of the Father…”
My feet skidded, trying to find purchase on the slimy, slippery stones on the bottom of the Big Sur River. The pastor gripped my arm. “Hold your nose.” Was that supposed to keep me from drowning? The instant I pinched my nostrils shut, he grabbed my shoulders and shoved me under. The water was icy cold. I was in survival mode. He yanked me back up.
And of the Son–” He thrust me in the frigid current again. My arms flailed. I was drowning. I kicked my feet, fighting for my life, but he held me down. He jerked me back up.
“And of the Holy Ghost.” He plunged me in again. When I came up for the third time, he finally let go of me. I scrabbled my way over the slippery rocks to the riverbank, soaking wet, shivering, and traumatized. I hadn’t a clue what baptism meant. All I knew was that I’d barely escaped with my life.
I headed straight to the church picnic grounds and punched my little sister. Uncle Richard was watching. He did nothing to stop me. He just shook his head.
“You sure don’t act like a girl who’s just been baptized,” he said.