Drunken and intoxicated with a multitude of narcotics, he felt nothing and he was happy because he felt nothing. He was consumed by the feeling of numbness (or lack of feeling). Sinking deep into an old torn couch, he was surrounded by a multitude of forgettable people. This was, at this time, his daily nightlife. He defended, against his own conscience, this habit by claiming first, "The Creator made these plants (filled with harmful chemicals) for a reason; therefore he has the right to pleasure himself this gift." Second: he felt since this is a blessing, he therefore does not need to feel shame in the indulgence of it. Third: he thought this to be the true form of companionship, producing the best of memories. But he could not escape the God-given integrity instilled in him. He knew he was perverting the original purpose, he felt great shame, and he knew all these forgettables, he called friends, were there solely for the purpose of forgetting. He continued on his path, and learned the cultural ability to ignore his conscience. Yet, he could not ignore the pulling of the soul—conviction.

*******

He entered the waters, sure of his decision, though he was deeply encouraged to do so. All of his past clung to his body—his flesh—and covered him like dirt and mud. As the water level grew, as he got deeper and deeper into the pool, his past—his dirt and mud—was washing away. Finally, he came into the arms of a teacher and mentor. His conscience was clear and his heart was ready; he had never felt such anticipation before. Now waist deep in the pool, surrounded by countless peers, the teacher asked, “Why are you doing this?”

*******

He woke up. Thinking he was home, he felt a sensation of peace. He then turned his head to see two half naked bodies lying on the carpet floor, a young woman and a young man. He forgotten their names but at least remembered his location. Where else would he be on a Sunday morning? By now the feeling of peace had been pushed away. He stood up slowly from the couch and scanned the area only to find more bodies scattered across the room. Empty alcohol glasses, half eaten pizza slices, and the faint smell of marijuana filled the room and tables. There was even still an unfinished line of cocaine on the counter. Feeling a little disgusted in regards to the state of the room, he wanted to wash away the dirty night. Dizzy and still incredibly tired, almost tripping over passed out teenagers, he stumbled his way to the door. As he entered, he switched the light—too bright. He then switched it back off and cracked the door to let some light in. He washed his face with some warm water, then cold. Still looking down, he grabbed the towel off the rack. He looked up into the mirror while drying his face. His eyes met his eyes in the reflection. What happened then cannot be described by mere words but nevertheless…

*******

There was no answer at first. The teacher then asked again, “Drew, why are you this?” He looked down at the water and saw the mud and dirt—his past. He wanted so desperately to cover himself in the thickness. He wanted so feverishly to cling to it. But then, for a brief moment, he could see his reflection. It was smiling and calm, and on the shoulder was an unidentifiable hand, a fatherly hand. This small embrace was the final encouragement he needed. He turned to his mentor and answered, “I am doing this because I need to let go.”

*******

Staring into the reflection, his heart—no his soul stirred. Something moved inside him, urging the greatest feeling of conviction. All at once, his heart was storm and his mind, the crashing waves of the sea. Yet he did not feel guilt. He kept thinking he should feel shame, he should feel guilty but none of those emotions came. He broke down and sobbed in the sink. He knew he failed, he knew he rebelled, he knew all he had done had gone against everything he had been taught. By now, he was on his knees with tears crashing to the floor. Then a hand touched grabbed his shoulder. He looked up and no hand was seen in the reflection, but the feeling of conviction was gone. His heart and mind were stilled. But now what of his soul, since that was the part that was deeply affected in the first place?

*******

Everyone was quiet before, but after his answer, their hearts were moved and some broke into tears. The mentor smiled and commented, “Good answer,” The teacher then said, while slowly submerging the young man’s body, “I baptize you in the name of the Father, Son, and Holy spirit.”