Portrait of a Sunday Service

Portrait of a Sunday Service

Making her way into the Church premises, Chiamaka could not help reminiscing over what took place the night before. Guilt ridden by the time she woke up, it took all her willpower to get dressed for church. Even as she got dressed the word hypocrite kept ringing in her head. Truth is she actually enjoyed last night, she didn’t plan for it to happen when she set off for his house, but the pleasure of his touch overcame all her reasoning. The guilt was an aftermath. Now how could she lift her hands in worship, when last night evaded her thoughts, she felt naked as she walked into church, it felt like everyone looked at her with accusing eyes, even the walls seemed to whisper hypocrite as she went past them. She definitely knew that praying and singing will be difficult with last night on her mind, she simply smiled as the pastor gave the instruction for all to lift up holy hands.

Wale just kept staring at the man seated in front of him. His suit was well tailored; his shoes looked very expensive, even the nails on the holy hands he lifted to the Lord looked well groomed.

“Why Lord? Why?” Wale thought to himself as he proceeded to petition God,

“I have served you all my life, never cheated, stole or killed, yet it seems like you have forgotten me. Who knows how this one made his money, yet you still allow him to enjoy it and flaunt it in my face, when will my own breakthrough come, when?” he finished up as the Pastor asked everyone to put their hands together for the Lord.

Tade sighed as she looked at her husband the deacon about to serve communion. She sighed again as her mind travelled back to the scene that welcomed her that fateful day. That cursed Wednesday she went back home to pick up the wallet she had forgotten earlier in her rush to make an 8am meeting with clients after seeing to her husband who was complaining of a fever. Fortunately, the clients called to cancel and while she was trying to pay for something she bought, she noticed her wallet was missing. She reversed her car and embarked on the homeward journey to pick up her wallet and also use the opportunity to check up on her indisposed husband. If only she had gone straight to the office, she would have saved herself the heartache of witnessing what she saw when she arrived home. The house appeared deserted , their teenage  domestic help was nowhere in sight and her husband was not in his room, she found the missing wallet on the table, picked it up and just as she was about to call her husband’s phone, she heard  moans coming from the guest bedroom, they didn’t have guest, so she did not need anyone to tell her what was happening, with a heavy heart she proceeded to check it out, she already knew the sight she would behold, but she still wasn’t prepared for it. She saw her husband shamelessly sweating and heaving his bulk on top of the domestic help, he was shocked to see her standing there, but she didn’t even wait to hear what he had to say. She ran out of the house with her tears blinding her. She has refused to discuss that incident or anything else for that matter, with him since that day. She simply sent the domestic help packing and pretended it never happened. And here he was on a Sunday morning serving communion, the devil himself serving communion, she sighed again as the Pastor said “Jesus said as often as you do this, do it in remembrance of me”.

Janet felt God’s awesome presence as she walked into church. Life had dealt her several blows but ever since she decided to trust God with the affairs of her life, she had experienced an unexplainable peace. Trouble still happens, but they have been like water off a duck’s back. So it was with a joyous heart she turned to the person sitting next to her as the Pastor said “say to your neighbour, the Lord is good all the time”.

Finally the service was over. As the people dispersed, Wale kept watching the fine, well groomed gentleman that sat in front of him, the same one that caused him to petition God. Just like he thought the man walked smartly to an obviously new Honda accord car. Wale just shook his head and muttered “God dey” as he walked to the bus stop to catch a bus home.

30 thoughts on “Portrait of a Sunday Service” by Mercy Ilevbare (@efearue)

  1. Beautiful flash fiction! This is so realistic! And very true as its what we see happening among the flock in churches. People with their own personal challenges. One thing I like about the story is that fact that hope is reflected in janet’s case which shows that not everyone is in total dire straits.

    I think it wouldn’t have been a bad idea to maintain some consistency in the lenght of each person’s story. tade’s story seemed to be more of the focus because of its lenght. Just my opinion

    Still I love this story…so easy to relate to.

  2. Thanks afronuts..The length of Tade’s story was not intentional, Tade’s just needed that many words to tell..lol

  3. I think I understand how Tade’s story got that lenghty and why Afronuts’ reasoning but as I read it, I could see how it could have been shortened to achieve the same impact.

    well done Mercy, you did this well.

  4. Thanks Abby, will definitely work on my editing..

  5. very brilliant piece mercy.it told of travails that people face even in serving God…there are problems everywhere and the church is not immune to it but it is our faith in God that will eventually see us through.

  6. Mercy,Mercy this is good,you really thought about the different personalities and that’s good.
    Well done and keep writting

  7. D'lameone (@Fredrick-chiagozie-Nwonwu)

    I had problems with they way you switched between the point of view. It might work for flash fiction, but in a lengthier piece, the reader would have become lost. Methinks it is safer when dealing with this sort of view point to introduce an omniscient view point that transfers the reader from one view point to the other. My thoughts, hope it makes some kind of sense. By the way. very good story.

    1. I think this would still work in a lengthier piece, depending on the skill of the writer. But since you said ‘safer’, might agree with u.

  8. @d’lameone, maybe if I understand what an omniscient viewpoint is then I can safely say “point noted”..Do inbox me the full explanation for that. Thanks for reading my story..

    1. Lemme help a tad. Omniscient means “all-seeing”. When you write with this point-of-view, you are God, who sees and knows all: all your characters’ actions and thoughts. You are not restricted in what you know and you choose to reveal what your readers should know. I’m sure you’ll get the full lecture in your box from D’lameone. lol Hope this helps in the ‘while.

      1. D'lameone (@Fredrick-chiagozie-Nwonwu)

        @abby, you don talk am finish. she no need lectures again. LOL. Anyway, I like to view the Omniscient view as the writer’s own. who knows your character(s) better than you?
        I feel it would have sufficed in this sort of writing because: the omniscient view would have moved easily from one person to the other, introducing them, maybe showing the reader what they look like, how they are dressed, how the dress looks on them and where they are sitting (some of which, would have being very amateurish to show from any of the individuals view point).
        the beauty, I think, is that it will work very well with what we have here – all that would be needed are insertions between the characters – and the story will still retain its form and style.
        The gain: ambiguity will be less and more information about the characters will be available.
        that’s if I am making any sense

        1. D'lameone (@Fredrick-chiagozie-Nwonwu)

          and there is that ‘being’. blame the silly keyboard jor.

  9. @ Abby it did help a wee bit..but I got inspired to write this while sitting in church one sunday morning and thinking my own thoughts. I looked around and wondered If everyone else was struggling with their personal demons as we all presented this wonderful exterior of actually enjoying and following the service. So I wrote it as it came to me, with no” central character” or “omniscient theme” in mind, just an abstract painting of sunday worshippers..lol. Looking forward to d’lameone’s lecture notes though..Thanks dear.

    1. Okay, so I see a lot of you guys get inspired in Church. Nothing wrong with that except, weren’t you supposed to be paying attention to the service? lol na wao. Anyway Mercy, I get you. No sweat, this is beautiful.

      The lecturer -D’lameone- has responded already.

      1. @Abby – no be our fault say church dey inspire us to write. Blame (or praise) God for the creativity and inspiration o! Lol.

  10. @ Abby..The story was written after the service not during it..lol
    @ d’lameone..Me thinks, Me finally get your point…thanks very plenty.

  11. Very good one as usual, Mercy. I love the way you brought the different challenges in the various lives and balanced it with hope through Jane’s experience.

  12. Meena-Adekoya (@Olajumoke-Adekoya)

    this a a wonderful piece of work!!! each character stood out distinctively, especially liked the fact that janet’s story portrayed hope in contrast withe the others..shows that God dey…lol!

  13. Thanks Meena, God really dey o!

  14. Yes o! God dey.
    This is really good and true too.
    well done girl.

  15. 2cute4u (@2cute4u)

    Depicts the thoughts of different people and their thoughts, situation despite looking all prim and proper in church..
    Nice one..
    One thought though, let the story flow more naturally, I mean, in the writing.

  16. Nice story…and like my own personal motto,GOD de…

  17. well… I liked it.
    well done.

  18. Nice one, mercy…nicer cos i can identify with your style. Bravo…even if u wr busy gettin inspiration in church instead of gettin in-spirit. Lol

  19. Nice one…like the flashes of messages and the mind bugging presentations….

    like your style

  20. Mercy lets face it….ur awesome!, ur are really good, i’m impressed

  21. wow..Mercy..I’m so inlove with the way you write. Loved this! though like someone already mentioned you could made the characters stories even.

  22. Emmanuella-Nduonofit (@Emmanuella-Nduonofit)

    Well, D’lameone said it and 2cute4u have said it. I enjoyed your story, really Mercy, and I thank D’lameone for teaching me. The ability for a writer to switch points of views in one story is one great asset in writing and I attempted doing that, experimented on it. I think that works well in novels, for it gives you that freedom to do that, showing the reasons for that. If you took on that point of view of a big, giant God watching over like the situation in a chess game, and you do this creatively, I truly believe that your audience would be hooked on this story. Good work, Merciful!

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