I read a lot of biographies, but this one was just flat out delightful and insightful. More of a memoir than a biography, Elizabeth Emerson Hancock brought back a lot of my own childhood memories by sharing so many of her own.
"Trespassers Will Be Baptized" shares growing up as the daughter of a Southern Baptist pastor as seen through the eyes of a young girl. Lots of chuckles await you within these pages, and if you don't have a sense of humor...well, that's just a shame.
Elizabeth (her family calls her Em) discusses her anointed discovery of much desired acid washed Guess jeans in the missions box and how God ordained them just for her. A fact her Sunday school teacher, Mrs. Mounts, was eager to share with the mother of the trespasser.
More stories follow in rapid succession...stories of her younger sister Meg losing her britches while playing in the sprinkler, the next door neighbor and their Catholic faith (and some of the pithy sayings Baptists used to make about their faith), along with family stories that will have you flashing back to your own childhood.
Intermingled amidst the humorous and dry wittiness are jewels of innocent faith, such as Em's desire to know how her pastor father makes sense of his 'regular self' and his 'holy self' and the evening she finally gets her answers. Tears blurred those pages, that story was so precious.
Then there was the time Em prayed to be afflicted, so as to bring out the best ministering of the church ladies in time of need. A good lesson in 'be careful what you pray for.'
Throughout the entire memoir, you can feel the love and respect Elizabeth Emerson Hancock has for her faith, her God, her church...and her family. While poking fun at some of the traditions and manners of the church (and, being a Southern Baptist, too many of them rang true for me!), this book is a unique tribute to growing up in a household of faith.
I'm giving "Trespassers Will Be Baptized" five out of five bookmarks, with a cross made from glue, Popsicle sticks and glitter...remember when we made those at VBS?? I sure do!