When things seem to go down hill, it’s often good to ask, why in the world would God let this happen? We’ve got a creative God who thinks outside the box. All we have to do is take the time to ask Him what he’s up to.
Last night, my church baptized somewhere between 150-200 new believers in a massive baptism at a local beach. The event almost didn’t take place, though, because environmentalists were up in arms about an abandoned baby seal that was stranded on the beach.
Apparently, if a mama seal leaves her baby, nobody can touch it. Otherwise, the mom will never reclaim it. Also, there are strict rules and regulations about how close you can get to a stranded baby seal. In this case, the seal was on the spot where our church had a permit to set up a huge sound stage and take up a lot of waterfront to baptize the new converts. No one could get within 100 yards of the baby seal. That’s an entire football field! To do so would earn a several thousand dollar fine.
The church prayed that the baby seal would move, but it didn’t. So, they re-applied for a new permit to move further down the beach. They picked up all their gear and relocated. By then, the news media had gotten wind of the whole escapade and had crews there getting the story. Eventually, the seal did return to its mommy, and the baptisms took place, albeit 100 yards away. So, all was well in the end.
I’ve never seen a Mars Hill event get this much news coverage. At the time, it must have been a massive annoyance to those at the church who have worked so hard to plan and setup this massive event. In the end, I think that the seal brought the media to cover the baptism.
You see, Seattle isn’t what I’d call very Christian friendly. Our pastor likes giving stats about there being more dogs than Christians in Seattle, etc. In newsworthiness, baptisms rank up there with bake sales. But I think God knew how to attract our city’s attention. How else do you get a liberal city, passionate about environmental issues, to pay attention to a church baptism?
Here’s liks to local news sources that mention the event, with lots of video feeds too.