“Let us pray,” intoned the whiskered senior pastor, in precise, undiluted Spanish that belied his street-gang roots.
“Oh LORD, we pray for our sister Evenshine, as she goes forth into the land of her fathers. She has been among us for some time now, and we give you thanks for her work here.”
(Congregants nodding, some raising hands in silent “amen”s).
“We ask that You mightily bless her. We thank you for her role in Your work, and ask that You continue to lead her in Your paths.”
(Hard to hear those capital “Y”s, but they’re there.)
“We know that you will be with her. She will be the mother of many.”
(Evenshine raises her bent head and forms a silent Wha-huh?)
“We know that you will give her many sons, and they will be the strength of her arm and the comfort of her old age.”
(Whatever, buddy. You offering to carry them? Comfort is spelled c-h-i-a-n-t-i in my house).
“We know, Lord, that you will give her those many strong sons. But…yes, Lord, we know you will give her one daughter. ONE daughter who will be her heart’s delight. A daughter who will be more beautiful than the cedars of Lebanon, whose beauty will be as your voice throughout the nations.”
(Evenshine wonders if the pastor’s been indulging in the communion wine.)
“And so be with her in the trials and tribulations of the future. Accompany her and bless her, even as you have promised.”
(Did I miss the part where they handed out the Kool-aid? Is this where we start fainting and convulsing? BeGONE, foul spirit!).
And yet, some months later…