"Ah, my friends, I feel heavy, I want to become light". According to the Acts, it is with these words that Genesius, acting, expressed his desire to be baptised. Reading the Acts at this point there is a interesting ambiguity- is Genesius acting or, in his acting, is he expressing a deeper desire? Actors will tell you that they draw on their own experiences to help them interpret a role and in doing this not only is the distinction between actor and character a little blurred, but in the context of art reflecting life/ imitating life, there is a poignant authenticity.
In expressing "heaviness" Genesius the actor reveals a burden which many people experience in life. On a basic existentialist level we do find at times that there is a weight upon us, and life can certainly add to that weight. How many of us experience the desire to be free, just to throw everything off and run away? And some have a real reason to ponder such an action as various situations and circumstances impose suffering and many other difficulties.
In requesting baptism, though he may not have known it at the time, Genesius is pointing to the One who can help us with the heaviness, the load, the suffering. The Lord Jesus became man and offered his life for us in order to lift the existentialist burden we carry - that imposed by Original Sin. In him, in the salvation he offers, we find the freedom we desire. The cross may not be taken away from us, but with Christ we learn how to carry it and we see its significance, and that in itself can lighten the load.
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