This Sunday was different. It wasn’t an Easter Sunday. It wasn’t Mother’s Day. It wasn’t Father’s Day. It wasn’t the start of Vacation Bible School. It wasn’t those things at all.

Vann made it a point to make sure his two boys were rooted and grounded in The Word. Vann would make sure Vann Jr. and Alexander dressed up in their finest creased slacks, dress shirts with no collar (because Joe Sr. said collars were for the white man) and black loafers. Vann always wore a suit — nothing more, nothing less. He always encouraged the boys to become active in the church, and they did so. Vann Jr. played the drums and Alexander sang in the choir. It made Vann happy to know that his now teenage boys had a strong foundation and constitution, even though the past 16 years his was weak.

This Sunday was different.

Alexander began to sing.

Afterwhile, afterwhile
This too shall pass
Scars will heal, you’ll love again
It won’t hurt you afterwhile
It won’t hurt afterwhile

Vann walked up to the altar, and rededicated his life to Christ.

Pastor Johnson whispered in his ear, “It won’t hurt afterwhile.”

Vann burst into tears and for the first time in 16 years, he breathed.

This Sunday was different.


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