Confession of Faith
The first time I met Thomas he was 27 years old and in prison, for the second time, serving time for drug trafficking. In my role as Prison Chaplain I had the chance to meet almost weekly with him. Sitting in his cramped prison cell, drinking a tea or a coffee and talking and praying together we became very close. Our discussions covered questions regarding the Christian faith, morals, family and plans for the future. A year later he was released from prison and he asked to be baptized.
The first time I met Thomas he was 27 years old and in prison, for the second time, serving time for drug trafficking. In my role as Prison Chaplain I had the chance to meet almost weekly with him. Sitting in his cramped prison cell, drinking a tea or a coffee and talking and praying together we became very close. Our discussions covered questions regarding the Christian faith, morals, family and plans for the future. A year later he was released from prison and he asked to be baptized. Two of my colleagues performed the baptism and I had the immense honor and joy of standing next to him as his god-father. Today Thomas has a steady job and a wonderful fiancée. The following is the confession of faith Thomas wrote and read for his baptism.
My life is similar to many of your own lives,
When I came into this world I started to cry, and it wasn’t for the last time,
Then my mother put me to her breast and I smiled, and it wasn’t for the last time,
My life has had its share of ups and downs, moments of joy and moments of sorrow, of good and bad surprises.
After all these years of happiness and sadness I can assert that I was never alone; someone in the silence, in those secret places, was with me.
Many times I could feel his presences, some times comforting, other times inspiring, and sometimes calming. That outstretched hand, those open arms, that warmth in the cold night, that voice in the desert…it is Him, my Savior, it is Our Lord.
Yes, I believe in God, in Jesus and in the Holy Spirit.
I believe that he is the origin of all things,
I believe that he is just and that he loves all of us equally,
I believe in his word and in that of Jesus, his son, who he sent to help us find peace, love and eternal life.
Even though he was only a humble carpenter, I believe that he had the strength and the courage to offer us his life and to die on the cross for us. And, despite my rational side, I believe that he is resurrected and that he accompanies each of our steps.
I believe in forgiveness, which is so precious to Him.
I believe in His love,
But above all, I believe that he is alive and that he is with us today.
And these are the reasons that inspire me today to witness to my faith and mylove for Him before you all.
Original French Version
Ma vie ressemble à celle de beaucoup d’entre vous.
Quand je suis venu au monde, j’ai commencé par pleurer et ce ne fut pas la dernière fois,
Puis ma mère m’a posé sur son sein et j’ai souri, et ce ne fut pas la dernière fois.
Ma vie est faite de hauts et de bas, de moments de joie, de moments de peine, de bonnes et de mauvaises surprises.
Après toutes ces années faites de bonheurs et de tristesse, je peux affirmer que je n’ai jamais été seul ; quelqu’un, dans le silence, dans le secret m’a accompagné.
Maintes fois j’ai pu sentir sa présence, certaines fois réconfortante, d’autres fois exaltante ou encore apaisante. Cette main tendue, ces bras ouverts, cette chaleur dans la nuit froide, cette voix dans le désert, c’est Lui mon sauveur, c’est Notre Seigneur.
Oui, je crois en Dieu, en Jésus et en l’Esprit Saint.
Je crois qu’Il est à l’origine de toutes choses,
Je crois qu’Il est juste et qu’Il aime également chacun d’entre nous,
Je crois en sa parole et en celle de Jésus, son fils, qu’Il nous a envoyé pour nous aider à trouver la paix, l’amour et la vie éternelle.
Bien qu’Il ne fût qu’un humble charpentier, je crois qu’Il a eu la force et le courage de nous offrir sa vie, de mourir sur la croix pour nous. Et malgré mon rationalisme, je crois qu’Il est ressuscité et qu’Il accompagne chacun de nos pas.
Je crois au pardon qui Lui est si cher.
Je crois en son amour,
Mais par-dessus tout, je crois qu’Il est vivant et qu’Il est avec nous aujourd’hui.
Et ce sont toutes ces raisons qui me poussent aujourd’hui à Lui témoigner mon amour et ma foi devant vous.
Tim Rose is a missionary with the Reformed Church of France. He works in the church’s program for refugees, primarily from Africa, which helps them in the resettlement process. Also, he works with projects related to the Middle East, specifically Palestine and Lebanon.