The water streamed down Kyle's face, washing away all traces of his past. His baptism had been decided just days ago when Pastor Seth had convinced Kyle that this next step would be his final admission to God and himself that he was indeed a changed man.
It hadn't been long ago that Kyle would have laughed in the face of anyone that would have said that he would be baptized one day. No, not him, nothing could wash away his sin. In Kyle's mind his sin was so bad that no one, including God, could ever forgive him.
Out in the audience that day sat another person who never thought they would see this day either. After John's daughter had been killed by a drunk driver 3 years ago, John never thought he would ever set foot in a church again. Ever.
But today was different. This was Kyle's baptism, and this was one baptism that John would'nt have missed for the world. John's wife Ann sat quietly next to her husband, gently stroking his hand and watching quietly as the water washed over Kyles face. The cleansing stream of water had magically changed everything - even the hurt and pain she had felt at losing their only daughter.
The day they found out that their daughter was killed had been the worst day of their lives. Nothing had ever prepared them to lose their child. Nothing since had ever been as heart wrenching as that day the police knocked on their door and forever changed their lives. Misty had been only 17 and had just learned how to drive. Out one night with her friends, Misty had taken a wrong turn down a road that landed her smack in the drunk drivers direction on a one-way street.
The driver had been so drunk that he hadn't even realized that he had entered the one way street - and before his addled drunken mind could comprehend, Misty's headlights were just feet in front of him. Everything after that was a blank. He awoke in the hospital, bandaged and dizzy but otherwise OK. A policeman stood at the door to his room. It was then that he learned what had happened. He had killed a 17 year old girl. She was pronounced dead at the scene of the accident.
That was 3 years ago and so much had happened since then. The drunk driver had got off lightly. Misty's family was devastated by the death of their only daughter. John and his wife were angry at the world and hatred became their way of life. Little did they know that although the drunk driver had got off lightly, his conscious had not. Every day he thought about suicide for causing Misty's death. Every day he wanted so badly to take that night back and give Misty back her life.
John and his wife listened carefully as Kyle began to give his testimony. He talked about forgiveness and how God had given him his life back. He talked about all the harm he had done to other people and how God had made him a changed man. About how he had caused the death of another human being because of drunken driving. How he had killed an innocent 17 year old girl and devastated her family. As the droplets fell quietly into the water, Kyle looked over at John and mouthed, "I love you and I'm sorry".
Tears rolled down and seem to crystallize on Kyle's face. Pastor Seth lifted Kyle gently from the water and smiled lovingly at him.
Today would have been Misty's 20th birthday. And today was Kyles 20th birthday too. Born in the same hospital, at the same time, to the same set of parents.
When Kyle and Misty had met on that same one way road that fateful night 3 years ago, who would have thought that these identical twins would be traveling on the same road, at the same time, but one drunk and going the wrong way?
Misty smiled down from heaven and hugged her brother tightly as their parents looked lovingly on.
Forgiveness is a wonderful thing.
(Dorsi Diaz, the author, is a freelance writer, photographer and artist. This story is fictional and was based on some of Dorsi's true life experiences. Names and circumstances have been changed to protect the innocent and any resemblance to real life is purely coincidental)
A baptism at Community Church of Hayward - filmed by Dorsi Diaz
Statistics on underage drinking
- Statistics | Century Council
More than 10 million youths, ages 12 to 20, in this country report they have consumed alcohol in the past 30 days. The rate of current alcohol consumption increases with increasing age according to the 2009 National Survey on Drug Use and Health from