Blood and Heaven's Light
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I wasn't always so offended by the church. When I was little girl, I rather enjoyed it. Multiple times a week with my mother and father, especially Sunday, we would go to the church — our church — and partake in the service. And every time, the love of Christ warmed into me, radiant as the noon light. To say that it didn't feel as if the church saved me would be to speak falsehoods into the world.

Even now, the Sunday service is clear in my head. My mother, sat at my right, patient and listening to every word uttered by the reverend. She never said much of a word until it was time for prayer. Her own prayer was always delivered on whispers lighter than air. My father, sat at my left, was always more excited about the more decorative and performative work, and spoke about it often during the service to me. "Listen close to the choir, Victoria," and "The windows! See how the light shines through, Victoria?" and "Oh, how the reverend's bells compliment their voices, like we've stumbled into a heaven on earth."

Those bells. The reverend always accompanied the church choir with his personal set of handbells. At the time, I had only gotten one close glance of them and the ornate designs, the biblical depictions etched onto them. I can still make out the way they ring if I imagine hard enough.

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