I had warned them all before we went up front for Levi's baptism that they needed to stay quiet.
"It's impolite," I informed them, "to interrupt when someone is speaking. And since Pastor Rick will be speaking, you will need to not be speaking."
Caleb proved very good at following instructions. He waited until it was very, very quiet. He waited until we were all lined up in front of the congregation. He waited until we had everyone's undivided attention. And since no one else was talking yet, he assumed it was safe for him to pipe up.
"Why does he have this," he asked, tugging at Levi's baptismal gown. He was using his inside voice, but a three-year-old boy's inside voice is a lot louder than a whisper. I shushed him. Apparently that was not the right answer. So he asked again, a little more emphatically this time. It was very, very important that someone explain to him why his brother was wearing a dress.
Thankfully, Pastor Rick had the answer he needed. Stooping down meet Caleb eye-to-eye, he explained why his littlest brother was dressed in such finery.
"Do you know why your brother has this on today?" Rick asked Caleb. "Because God wants to do something remarkable in his life."
"Whoa!" Caleb replied, earning a laugh from the congregation.
"It's pretty amazing," Rick went on. "God takes pleasure in turning our hearts and the hearts of our children to a place where they are soft before Him, where they recognize Him, where they fear Him, where they claim Him as their God."
And then we took our vows as Levi's parents, acknowledging our son's need of the cleansing blood of Jesus Christ and the renewing of the Holy Spirit, claiming God's covenant promises on Levi's behalf, and looking in faith to the Lord Jesus Christ for his salvation, as we do for our own.
We celebrated his baptism today, but the real celebration will wait. Because on that day when God brings his promises to fruition and changes my son's heart of stone to a heart of flesh; on that day when my son calls my Jesus his savior and becomes not only my son but my brother in Christ; on that day, we will truly celebrate.