A chaplain was called to a neo-natal ICU in the middle of the night. A young couple’s only child was dying. “Chaplain, please baptize her now so she will go to heaven.”
What could he do? He did not personally believe in infant baptism. He had no water, certainly not enough to immerse as was the requirement in his faith tradition. What was he to tell this couple as they placed their dying child in his hands?
His theology showed by what he did. Taking a tear from the father’s face, he began, “I baptize you in the name of the Father,” and with a tear from the mother’s face, “and of the son” and with the tears from his own face “and of the Holy Spirit.”
The child died in his hands.
The God the chaplain served was revealed to be a God of compassion and grace.
When Jesus talked about those who said they would work in God’s vineyard and then did not go to do the work and those who said they would not work but went anyway, I think he was talking about just what this chaplain did.
What we do, especially under times of greatest stress reveals the real nature of the God we serve.