I hear you talk about God's love.
God's grace. Unconditional and real.
So real that I suddenly feel it.
It hits me so hard that I have to close my eyes.
Then I moan. Mumble and moan.
I start rocking back and forth when you say
I can lay my burdens down
at The Altar.
Take my troubles and worries to The Altar
and leave them there.
You say it over and over many different ways.
Suddenly, I'm on my feet with my hands in the air.
shouting in loud, short outbursts.
Stomping my feet. Coming out of my shoes.
Letting it all out.
All the fear. All the anger. All the hatred.
All of it. Giving it to God.
Bent by spasms in my stomach with each step or two
to The Altar.
Finally, I'm there on my knees
still mumbling as tears stain my face and soak my blouse.
Still shouting as I ask for forgiveness.
Being comforted by the sisters.
Being reassured by God that I'm loved
and everything will be alright.
Minutes later, I leave The Altar physically drained.
Spiritually and emotionally cleansed.
My vision even seems clearer.
I take my seat, sigh and notice the worry in my daughter's eyes.
I put my arm around her and tell her I'm alright.
Baby, I'm alright.