Searching for Sacraments: Baptism

I don't know much about the sacraments. I grew up Baptist, so I'm pretty sure I never even heard the word "sacrament" until I was in my 20's. But I'm reading a book about the sacraments now, so illustrating them seemed like a way to explore them a bit more intimately.

Let me make a quick correction. The book I'm reading isn't really about the sacraments. It's about life and church and long journeys. It uses the sacraments like pillars. They structure the story but they aren't the only part of it. They're part of the story like I suspect the sacraments should be a part of life. Not separate, but intertwined like a thread you can't quite pick out because it's part of the whole.

Like I said, I don't know much about the sacraments, but I do know about baptism. (Grew up Baptist, remember?) So Baptism seemed like a good sacrament to start with. (Plus it's the first one in the book!)

Baptism was also an easy beginning because it has powerful imagery built in. Baptism evokes ascending doves and flowing rivers, death and life and water everywhere. Baptism isn't passive, it isn't quiet, it isn't slow and it's never done alone.

So here are my Baptism birds. They're ascending and splashing and living all together. And it's kind of normal. Birds splash. They live. Baptism is a big event, but maybe it's also just part of life. Oh, and that book I'm reading? It's Searching For Sunday by Rachel Held Evans. You'll hear a little more about it and the sacraments over the next few blog posts, so stay tuned. If you're interested in prints from this series, you can find them here.


  • Searching For Sacraments: Confession | Ruth Meharg

    […] I’m going to continue the sacrament series with confession. (Part 1 here.) Confession was the hardest sacrament for me to illustrate for a couple of […]

  • Searching for Sacraments: Confirmation | Ruth Meharg

    […] is the fifth illustration in my sacrament series. Previous illustrations are Baptism, Confession, Holy Orders and Communion. This series was inspired by Rachel Held Evans’ book, […]

  • Searching for Sacraments: Communion | Ruth Meharg

    […] post is the fourth in my series on the Sacraments. You can find the previous posts here, here, and here. Each of these illustrations was inspired by Searching for Sunday, which is […]

  • Searching for Sacraments: Holy Orders | Ruth Meharg

    […] post is the third in a series on the seven sacraments of the Catholic church. Read part one here, and part two here. Check out the book that inspired this series […]

  • Searching for Sacraments: Marriage | Ruth Meharg

    […] joy and pain (anointing of the sick), and spill the secrets of our hearts (confession). As for baptism? Maybe that’s the very beginning. The moment when you leave the old life behind for the […]

  • Searching for Sacraments: Anointing of the Sick | Ruth Meharg

    […] is the sixth illustration in my sacrament series. Previous illustrations are Baptism, Confession, Holy Orders, Communion and Confirmation. This series was inspired by Rachel Held […]

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