The Magazine of The Evangelical Lutheran Church in America


Walking wet in the desert

Today a young female soldier came to be baptized at the large tent that serves as a chapel at Camp Virginia in Kuwait. On one side of the chapel a briefing occurs. On the other the soldier and I stand by the altar—two cobbled wooden shipping crates with no paraments. I quietly read Ephesians 2:8-9 to the her. She had spoken to me days earlier about her fears, her background and her many sorrows, including the sorrow when the pastor from her home church told her she wasn’t worthy to be baptized in Jesus’ name.

Now on the eve of war, this young trooper wanted to know Jesus was for her, not against her. She wanted to be part of Jesus’ family. I told her baptism is a gift of God and none of us can ever be good enough for it.

Looking into her eyes, I said, “This is God’s gift to you because he has always loved you. He will never love you more or less than he already does.”

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February issue


Embracing diversity