It is the middle of winter and so cold outside, the wind chills you to your bones. The sky is overcast and you can smell the rain in the air. Everyone is clutching the collars of their coats against the cold, damp January wind. The women are dressed in brightly colored dresses and ornament hats and the men are in the best suits in town. All the children look as handsome and gorgeous as miniature versions of their parents.
The band is getting warmed up; first the beat starts on the drums. The sound of the snare and tom-tom are vibrating in my ears. The bass player is starting, the deep sounds going hand in hand with the drums. Now the sound of the guitar is combined with the rest and you can hear the notes of the hymn rising from the once scattered noise. The congregation is singing and clapping along. I am in church.
All around me there is praises of “Hallelujah” and “Thank you Jesus” circulating in the air. Men and women are giving their thanks to Him as the children are singing and dancing to the music. I am amazed at how much activity can go on in such a small area. Just as I am wondering how much more the building can take, the pastor enters to begin her sermon. The band stops playing and the congregation ceases its chaotic harmony and we all sit down so she can get started.
This is my third time attending this particular church and I’m always enlightened and feel lifted after Pastor preaches to us. I had not however gone up to the alter afterwards to confess my sins. The thought of it makes me nervous. My friend continues to urge me to go up to be cleansed of my sins. I explain to her that I don’t know where I would begin. She kindly reminds me that I need to start somewhere, to which I agree. Standing in line for the alter was an overwhelming experience. I am so nervous I can feel all of my nerve endings jumping around on my skin. I become very hot, yet my hands are cold and clammy. I asked my friend why I was feeling like this and she responded that the devil didn’t want me to go on with this awesome thing. He was trying to hold me back.
It was at that moment I decided I am not going to let the devil win this time by holding me back. I am going to do good and confess my sins and get the burdens off my chest. As these thoughts are sinking in I realize something, I am next in line. What do I do, what do I day?! I’m thinking this in a panicked voice. My friend tells the pastor and Bishop that this is my first time at the alter and obviously quite nervous. They tell me that we will just pray for today. A rush of relief comes over me. Pastor and Bishop lay hands on me and start praying. During that time I have the most peculiar feeling, like someone is watching me very closely. I feel that presence with me still to this day. I talk to Him very often, thanking Him for the beautiful day or just venting. I feel like He is always listening and He has even answered me before. I think back to that day and it has changed my life forever.
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