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Parables of Parenthood – Chapter 5

Sam's baptism CoL

In anticipation of the book’s release in 2014, I am going to offer a series of excerpts on this blog. I hope these selections wet your whistle; may you be like my son, Sam, who knows the word, “more”! 

On Mother’s Day, Samuel Greene Taylor-Troutman

was baptized and “clothed with Christ” in a very special

white gown. Gran, my maternal grandmother whose

maiden name is Sam’s middle name, made this beautiful

garment over thirty years ago for my infant baptism. Decades

later, Sam was able to wear the same gown because

my mom widened both the collar and the sleeves. Though

unable to make the necessary alterations herself, Gran had

taught her daughter most of what she needed to know over

the years. Just to make sure, Mom requested the assistance

of a trusted friend from her church who had watched faithfully

over the years as I outgrew the various clothes of my

childhood and adolescence. Through so-called “domestic”

acts with needle and fabric, these faithful women widened

the thread of Sam’s baptismal gown, which stretches across

generations, time, and space. That meaningful household act of sewing continues to play a role in the kingdom of

heaven coming to earth. As I have reflected on the widening of the baptismal

gown, Kathleen Norris reminded me that the Hebrew word

for “salvation” literally means to make something wider.

Copyright Andrew Taylor-Troutman, 2014; Wipf & Stock Publishers

About Andrew Taylor-Troutman

I am a pastor and a preacher, a writer, a husband and a father. My professional and personal lives are deeply involved with story-telling: stories that are silly and poignant or profound and commonplace. Stories that are tear-jerkers and belly-shakers. Stories about my son, Sam, and the congregation I serve, New Dublin Presbyterian Church. Each in its own way, these personal narratives shed light on the great story that God is writing with humankind and all of creation.


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