‘What if?’

Terry Walton


I Was Thinking…

This past Sunday, Mother’s Day, was a day in which my heart was full of joy, love, peace, hope and beauty.  I had the honor of baptizing our granddaughter, Abigail Louise Johnson.  This is the fifth grandchild of which I’ve had the ‘joy unspeakable and full of glory’ to baptize.

I am proud of our children and their spouses for their efforts to ‘train their children in the right way’ (Proverbs 22:6, NRSV).  And on this 2019 Mother’s Day, our daughter, Terilyn and her husband, Eric, stood before the church in the presence of God and renewed their vows of Christian faith and then promised to ‘nurture Abigail in Christ’s holy church, that by their teaching and example Abigail may be guided to accept God’s grace for herself, to profess her faith openly, and to lead a Christian life’.

Then…then the congregation…and then the congregation joined in with Terilyn and Eric and they said “With God’s help we will so order our lives after the example of Christ, that Abigail, surrounded by steadfast love, may be established in the faith and confirmed and strengthened in the way that leads to life eternal.”  WOW!  An entire church full of folks are going to help train our Abigail how to follow Jesus and live in His way.  Thank you, church, thank you!

There was not a person in that sanctuary that was against baptizing Abigail.  We didn’t take a vote but I’m certain this was not a controversial issue.  Yes, there may be different theologies and opinions about infant baptism.  John Wesley’s prevenient grace causes us United Methodist to embrace the ‘grace-fact’ that God is at work in our lives long before we are aware of the need for such grace.  Thus, for us, Baptism is based on what God has done in Jesus and not based on something we must do to deserve Baptism.

Regardless of our theologies, I have found that most people are united in their love of children.  All over the world, children are loved.  As I have often said “Children cry in every language and Mothers love in every language”.

What if…what if we decided we were going to focus on what unites us rather than focus on what divides us?  What if… what if we decided we were going to put our energy in growing forth what unites us rather than waste our energy on what divides us?  What if…what if we decided we’d love each other’s children and grandchildren enough not to let the negativity of division to erode that love.  What if…?

Jesus did say ‘Let the little children come to me for to such is given the Kingdom of Heaven’.  That is true for all children everywhere.  AND it is true for those who act like children too.  What if…?

“The wolf shall live with the lamb, the leopard shall lie down with the kid, the calf and the lion and fatling together, and a little child shall lead them.” Isaiah 11:6

What if…?

Always Thinking,


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