A week after these experiences at Hope College, I went to Chicago to attend a National Day of Prayer event. Different pastors spoke on what God was doing in their communities. One of them, a pastor from Texas, had a ministry with street gangs, which in itself was amazing, because he didn’t look like the kind of man one would think would have that kind of outreach. But he had led the leaders of rival gangs to Christ, and told us a story about baptizing one of the boys. The pastor was going to sprinkle him in church, but the kid wanted to be baptized in the river. He had probably committed murder, and he wanted to do it all the way.
The pastor said that when he looked at the kid’s face under the water, he could see his broken nose. When he lifted the boy out of the water, the kid clung to him and wept and wept and wept. After he finally regained his composure, he said to the pastor, “This is only the second time in my life I’ve ever cried. The first time was the night my dad broke my nose.”
Then the pastor said to us, “I baptized him in water, and he baptized me in his tears. And they washed away all that church stuff.”