Hannah knew she was different from the other children around her age. While they all enjoyed playing in the park together or going to birthday parties, Hannah preferred to stay to herself and play with her dolls. Sometimes she would make up imaginary friends.
She didn't have any older siblings, only a baby brother named ‘Jonah', who was way too small for her to have a playmate . Hannah’s parents were a little bit concerned about her behavior, however, they were hoping as she got older she would eventually grow out of it.
Hannah's mother worked as an elementary teacher for several years. After the birth of their son, she decided to give up her teaching position and stay at home with the children. Her father was a pastor at a church in a neighboring town.
One day Hannah’s father came home from work and announced he was offered a position as head pastor at a church in another city. The family would live in a house right next to the church. Everyone was excited about starting this chapter in their life, especially Hannah’s parents. They both saw this as a possible chance that their daughter may finally make friends.
The move came without incident. Hannah’s dad settled into his new position with open arms. There weren’t many children in the neighborhood. Hannah would say ’hello’ in passing but she wasn’t a bit interested in making friends with any of them. She would even sit alone during Sunday School.
It was summer time and the days would sometimes be very hot, but the nights often offered some relief. Hannah’s mother would raise her daughter’s bedroom window to allow the night breeze to blow into her room. One night Hannah was having a little trouble falling asleep. She was laying in her bed staring up at the ceiling when all of a sudden she heard someone singing ‘Amazing grace, how sweet the sound that saves a wretch like me, ‘. She couldn't believe what she was hearing. It was the most beautiful voice she had ever heard. When Hannah looked out of her window, she saw a lady dressed in all white carrying a light going into the church. She waited for the lady to come out of the church, but she never did.
The next morning at breakfast Hannah told her parents what she had seen the night before while looking out of her bedroom window. Her father told her she was only having a dream because no one goes over to the church after he locks it up. Hannah was positive about what she had seen. She knew it wasn’t a dream. She couldn’t wait to see the lady again.
Everyone went on with their day as usual except Hannah. She couldn’t stop thinking about ‘The Church Lady’. That evening right after dinner, Hannah rushed to her room and started watching out of her window. Her mom came up to tuck her into bed and to raise the window as she always did. As she bent down to give Hannah a goodnight kiss on her cheek, Hannah whispered in her ear, ‘I hope I see my friend tonight’. Her mom smiled at her and said ‘sweet dreams’.
A few hours had passed. Hannah’s mother had decided to go take a peek at her sleeping children. When she got close to Hannah’s room she could hear her daughter calling out to someone saying ’hello, what’s your name? I like the way you sing.’ Hannah’s mom quickly went into the room and rushed over to the window, and to her surprise, she too saw a lady dressed in white carrying a light going into the church. Her mom not only saw this lady, she noticed something very odd about her. For starters, her voice was so beautiful and angelic, and her walk was more like a gentle stroll. She also noticed a slight glow around the lady when she entered the church. Hannah's mom put her back in bed and stayed with her until she fell asleep. She then went into her bedroom to tell her husband what she had just witnessed. She told him that Hannah had not been dreaming after all. He told her it was probably an usher going in to get thing prepared for the following day.’ I’ll bring up in the meeting tomorrow morning’.
Before he left for work, Hannah’s mom reminded her husband to ask about last night. He reassured her that he would not forget. At the end of the meeting her father announced he had one more issue to discuss. He started off by saying ‘it isn’t anything major, I just wanted to know if anyone can tell which usher comes over to the church after hours? According to my daughter and wife she sings ‘Amazing Grace' and carries a light. You see I just want to speak to her and… At that moment one of the senior leaders interrupted him to tell him who she was; with a solemn look on his face and sadness in his voice, this is what he said; her name was Martha Bradley. She was once an usher at this church. She walked to work every day and sing 'Amazing Grace'. At night, she would carry a light. She would come in to prepare everything for the next day. She was a wonderful lady. One day on her way to work a car hit her. She was killed instantly. Your daughter and wife aren't the only ones who have seen her. People around here have reported seeing her for years. I guess old habits are hard to break.
Hannah’s father didn’t know what to say after hearing this. He left the meeting to go straight and talk to his wife about what he had just heard. But how would he explain this to his five-year-old daughter? After a long discussion with his wife, Hannah’s parents had both decided it would be in her best interest not to find out the truth about what had happened. They finally started to see a change in their daughter, even if her first friend happens to be ‘The Church Lady’.
My name is Maria. I work as a jewelry consultant and write as a hobby. I have had 2 pieces of my writings published. I hope to someday turn writing into a full-time career. My story, ‘The Church Lady” is based on actual true events.