Last weekend we had a baptism service of ginormous proportions here at the Summit. Over two days in fifteen worship experiences at six campuses, we saw 305 people cross from death to life and symbolize that through the act of baptism.
That stuff never gets old. We’ve seen God do that over and over here, and we’re grateful. Eternally grateful. In the past, I’ve told “stories from the tank” here on the blog (you can find those here and here and here).
But today I have to tell you one of the best behind-the-scenes stories ever. Because we provide clothing and towels for these on the spot baptisms, we have hundreds of pounds of wet, dirty laundry that has to be washed immediately after the services or it will go all John 11:39 on us.
We had three college students lined up to get the laundry after our last service on Sunday and haul it off to the laundromat. In the rush, we forgot to give them the many rolls of quarters they’d need to pay for the wash. So David Talbert, one of the guys on my team, called them and told them to pay for it and we’d reimburse them.
Fast forward to yesterday, when David called Brandon Smith to see what the damage was and how much we owed him. This was Brandon’s reply (paraphrased, because I heard it second hand and probably embellished it with dramatic details):
“Hey David, no worries on the reimbursement. UNC gives us ten bucks a week on our student card for laundry as part of our tuition. I went around to all my Summit friends and told ’em we were going to do some baptism laundry. After everybody chipped in we washed everything for free.”
And there you have it: ingenuity via one of our incredible college kids. From the school that brought us the basketball blessings of Michael Jordan, Vince Carter*, and Tyler Hansbrough, you can add “free laundry for the Summit” to the list of awesome things to come out of Chapel Hill.** Put that in your Separation of Church and State pipe and smoke it.***
*Thanks to Spence Shelton for helping me think of Vince Carter, as I could only name two basketball players.
**Sorry Dukies, I’ll say something about Ninth Street eventually.
***No judicial rulings were harmed in the making of this one-liner.
UPDATE (2:22 PM)
The following items have come to my attention:
(a) Brandon Smith is, indeed, still awesome.
(b) Michael Jordan did, indeed, play basketball for UNC-CH.
(c) Brandon Smith definitely does not go to UNC-CH. He does, indeed, go to North Carolina State University. He was, indeed, assisted by the equally-awesome Stephen Taylor, Ashley Howell, and Daniel Salo.
(d) Part of our laundry crew (Rebecca Batchelor and Trace Clevinger) do, indeed, go to UNC-CH, so you can see how I easily made this mistake.
(f) I am, indeed, an idiot and need a fact-checker (although in my defense, I did warn you that the story would be embellished with dramatic details).
(g) I am, indeed, being Twitter-bombed with corrections, and in some cases, pictures:
(h) I do not know the names of any basketball players at NCSU. But they do, indeed, have an awesome ice cream booth at the State Fair.
(i) I am 98% certain that tonight’s basketball skirmish will, indeed, occur between the two Blues…UNC and Duke.
(j) 3/4 of my children will, indeed, now be ashamed to call me “father.” Or “dad,” because that’s what they’ve always called me. “Father” seems a little formal, don’t you think?
(k) I do, indeed, want to use the word “indeed” one more time.