I stand at the edge of the pool,
strangely warmed
in spite of the coolness
of the water before me,
my heart in my throat.

As I step into the water,
led by the pastor's hand,
I make my way down a step at a time,
clothing drinking up the water as it billows around me.

I look around at the family I have found,
their smiles and tears mingled with my own.
I look down at the water,
friend and foe,
at once giver and taker of life.

I lay back,
supported by strong and gentle hands,
entering death and life in one swift and vulnerable moment.

I offer my life to you
in one great wash of water and
it closes over me.

In that saved moment underneath the water,
I am made clean,
made whole.

I belong,


The Rev. Delana Taylor McNac is a member of the Cherokee Nation. She is an ordained deacon appointed as a hospice chaplain and a member of the Haikey Chapel UMC in Bixby, Oklahoma.

Copyright 2009 © Delana Taylor McNac. Used by Permission. Reproduction granted for use in church worship services. Any further use beyond worship services must be with permission from the author.