I slowly and reluctantly walked up the long narrow walkway leading to the House of the Lord. The cold wind was howling through the tree stems as dead leaves swirled in a circular pattern on the frost covered grass. Looking up I watched the clouds rapidly blowing eastward over the steeple. Walking up the crumbled brick stairway, I wrapped my overcoat tightly around my neck to keep the chill off my nape.
My heart was racing and my hands were shaking as I hesitated for a moment. Then slowly opening the tall church doors they creaked like a haunted house from a horror movie. The strong fragrance of Frankincense wafted the air as the thick haze filled the cathedral ceiling.
Much too apprehensive to approach the alter I stayed out of sight near the back of the nave sitting in the last pew. A prayer was spoken of Life, Hope and Truth, then a second interrupted by singing psalms. I was feeling obligated to sing along though I didn't know the words. A thick book miraculously laid before me already bookmarked to the page of what was being sung. I opened the book and started to sing, singing louder and louder feeling the words coming from my heart with such strong emotion, it almost brought tears to my eyes.
All was quiet with a final prayer and everyone walked out without saying a single word. The air was silent except for the creaking entrance door that everyone exited. Staying behind after the final slamming of the doors I sat all alone in that last pew and stared at the massive crucifix that hung just behind the alter. The power of a tale I'm not even certain is true had such an impact on my Life, filled with Hope and Truth.
It literally scared the "Hell" right out of me!