Oh Come to the Alter

Oh Come to the Alter

A Story by despitegreathands

A salvation story


"Forgiveness is here! Right here!" he exclaimed


The preacher stood in front of the large congregation, his words floated over gently but crashed hard on the ears of those who were afraid, saddened, and broken.

Jane was one of those people. 


Recent events in her life had led her to this point. After weeks of internal debates and Google searches, she had come to the conclusion that she needed some church in her life. Her family was never really religious. They would go when Grandma would visit, Easter and Christmas as well. But other than that, Sunday was just another day.

But this Sunday was going to be the day things turned around for Jane. Tonight she'd find some direction, some purpose in the pain that had been constant in her life.

The night was alive with noises of the bayou and the Louisiana air was crisp. The sounds were a comfort to her.

As she entered the sanctuary she was overwhelmed by the beauty of the room. The stage was large and simply decorated. The lights were bright, but not harsh. Flowers lined the walls and the room was surprisingly full for a night service. She felt nervous. She was suddenly in fourth grade again, the new kid, the weirdo. Her eyes darted back and forth looking for a seat, if she could just sit she'd be invisible.

An open spot in the back caught her eye and she suddenly moved like a woman with a purpose. The white chair was salvation from the sea of strangers eyeing her from afar. She had to have it. Each step was faster than the last and for a moment there was no noise, no people, no anything except that chair.

"Hi, I'm Pastor David"

He came from nowhere. Suddenly this man in a well fitted black suit jacket stood in between her and salvation. His hand extended forward and his smile was wide and perfect. It unnerved her for a moment.

"Hello" she said

"Are you new? I don't think we've met before."

"Uh, yeah. It's my first time. I'm Jane."

"Well, welcome Jane" their hands met and Jane felt a small shock that ran from her wrist down to her toes. For moment her mind said it was the spirit, a small smirk appeared in the corner of her mouth.

"Jane, why not come up to the front with me? I've got a seat just for you in the corner, close enough to hear but far away enough to be comfortable"

Jane agreed and followed the preacher man, he smelled like vanilla.

David stood before the congregation and exclaimed that forgiveness was here. His words echoed and the crowd responded with amen and amen. As time went by the congregation seemed hypnotized by him. Maybe it was the way he spoke or the way he moved, but he seemed perfect on that stage. Almost as if he was sent here to do this. He spoke of a love that was unending, a peace that was beyond understanding, and a god that loved Jane more than she could ever know. She just needed to accept this love. She felt a burning in her heart. She needed to know more, to understand. She wanted to experience this love that the others seemed to have.

"Do you know what true love is?!" asked the Pastor to the congregation

"True love is sacrifice!" he said "It's laying down your life and letting god take over completely!"

Jane's eyes began to water and she wasn't sure why. She felt possessed, as if her body was no longer her own and she had no control over what she might do. Her body ached, it needed something. 

More than water.

More than food.

More than shelter. 

She needed love.

"LOVE IS HERE TODAY, CHURCH! It's here for the taking if only you'd sacrifice something for it!"

Jane's heart was racing. Her heartbeat pounded and her body shook. She felt as if each heartbeat rattled her bones.

"Who here is brave enough to accept the love of god? Who here is willing to stand and be counted as one of his children? Who here can feel the pull of god on their heart?"

Jane's legs shook as she stood. Her head hung low and her hands were ice cold. But she needed this. Her spirit was willing but her body was weak.

"Come here my child" said Pastor David, his smile was now less wide but more sincere.

He held her close and she began to sob into his chest. This felt right to Jane. There was no shame here, no condemnation. If this was just a portion of god's love she needed more of it.

"What would you give to experience the fullness of god's love?" Pastor David whispered to Jane

"All of it" she replied.

"Then come to the alter and be made clean" he replied

A small table was brought on stage covered in a white sheet. Underneath the sheet, David explained, was her salvation if she chose it.

Jane nodded yes.

"Church! She has chosen the love of god!"

The congregation exploded with jubilation. Excitement filled the air and Jane's spirits were lifted.

Pastor David removed the white sheet and held a small goblet before Jane. 

"Stand before your brothers and sisters and be made new"

"Are you sure?" Jane said "I'm scared"

"Don't be afraid. You will be a new creation" David replied as he placed the knife in her hand

Her hand trembled as she lifted the blade to her neck. The good pastor stood behind her with the goblet just below her neck ready to catch her sacrifice.

With a flash the blade opened her neck and a sea of red began to pour. The church was silent and the room began to fade. Her body crashed to the floor and goblet fell with her. The blood warmed her face as it pooled around her. As it all began to fade away James stood above her and held her face in his hands.

"May Dahak welcome you into his eternal light"

His words faded and as Jane's eyes dilated she left the world just as scared as she came into it.

Pastor David stood and wiped his hands clean. His smile was crooked now. His teeth black and rotten. The suit he wore was now tattered and stained. The congregation was nowhere to be found and the flowers that lined the walls were wilted and dead. He stood alone in that dilapidated building and breathed in the dusty air. He whistled as he went from candle to candle blowing each one out. 

The night was alive with noises of the bayou and the Louisiana air was crisp. He checked his watch and saw it was late.

"Time for bed" he said as he closed the doors and walked into the dark night.

© 2016 despitegreathands

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Added on May 4, 2016
Last Updated on June 10, 2016



Chesapeake, VA

Hello! I'm a new writer. I'm from VA and just graduated with a Poli Sci degree. more..