Would returning to innocence ensure an answered prayer? She didn’t think so, until the minister thought otherwise.
She didn’t burst into flames, nor did Divine Judgment strike down her unclean humanity when she set foot in her old church after so many years.
Everything was the way she remembered it: dark Narra pews, dirty white walls, and holy images in every alcove, but this time, the place bore traces of foreign melancholy. With the setting sun painting the peach accents gold, the whole place didn’t feel like the home she once knew; it was now more like a movie scene rather than a place of answered prayers.
She knelt at the bench farthest from the altar then changed her mind and went to the front. Recently, she hadn’t always been the most consistent churchgoer, but the journey now was made special for her special intention.
It had to be heard somehow.
She then closed her eyes, frowned, and bit her lip. Her curled fists were as tight as her heart holding on to her prayer.
From the room behind the altar, a minister paused at the doorway before coming into the woman’s possible field of vision. An older reverend bumped into his back.
“What is it, son?” the reverend asked, addressing the young man blocking his way.
The young minister, with a low voice, said, “the lady’s still here.”
“How long has it been?”
“More than three hours. The wedding guests requested a vacant church before the ceremony. Will I ask her to―?”
The reverend, gently placing a hand on the minister’s shoulder and moving him aside, looked kindly at the familiar woman kneeling before the altar. Although he’d been in the area for years, he almost barely remembered her face. Glancing at the images, he smiled at the young minister.
“I’m sure the bride’s father can wait a few more minutes. We’re witnessing a miracle here, son. It’s not every day that a repentant sinner comes here for penance. No wonder the whole church is rejoicing.”