Tasha had always joked that if she stepped foot in a church, it would burst into flames. Yet, here she stood; not only inside the church, but behind the curtain, next in line for the baptismal ceremony. There were no flames. In fact, she shivered from the conditioned air hitting her bare skin. I should’ve worn a sleeved dress, she thought as she rubbed her arms.
The burden of terminal cancer brought her to this church two months ago. The diagnosis had left a canyon-sized void inside her that no amount of alcohol, drugs or men could fill. She feared death, when demons would drag her spirit away and she’d be imprisoned by eternity. From a young age, her mom told her there’d be a special place in Hell for her.
The message that God loved sinners kept her coming each week. She’d already lived longer than doctors predicted. She dared to hope that she could beat the disease. Last week, Pastor Wilkins asked for those who invited Jesus into their hearts to raise their hands. To her own surprise, she raised hers. She didn’t want the extra attention, but the upward pull of her arm was stronger than the weight of her sins.
A nine-year-old-girl with drenched blonde curls bounced behind the curtain with a towel draped over her shoulders. Water soaked the lace-trimmed white dress down to her waist. The gleam in the girl’s eyes– Tasha wanted that.
Anxious for her own baptism, Tasha approached the pastor waiting on the raised platform. She let herself relax in his arms as he tilted her back into the holy water. She trusted he’d lift her out before she drowned. He did.
Water dripped from the ends of her over-processed hair. The first thing she noticed was the absence of fear. The idea of angels carrying her spirit to heaven gave her a peace she hadn’t felt for a single day of her forty-eight years of life.
ABSENCE (noun)- want, lack <an absence of detail>
If you’re inspired to try your hand at the challenge, you can find out how to submit your entry by clicking the Tricycle picture, which takes you to Trifecta’s website. Hope everyone had a safe Labor Day weekend…have a beautiful week!