Elias watched as the man came and blessed the water. His hands hovered over the surface but didn’t break the still surface. He could feel his hands shake a little and his stomach was in knots. He did the best he could to focus on Him and calm his nerves but he couldn’t help but feel like he had come so far from when he woke up on the beaches. He could never have imagined that he would be setting himself apart for Sendiil. There were others beside him with their own basins of water, despite their company he sensed he stood alone before this awesome being.
The man’s words couldn’t be heard but he could see his lips moving just before he bowed his head and moved on to another basin water. Even the sounds around him were dull and faded. The crackling of the fire, a quiet snapping in the distance it felt, even though it was only a few feet in front of them.
“Place your hands in the basins,” Elias was pulled out of his deep reprieve. His eyes focused on the water’s surface, on his own reflection. He saw the flames in his own eyes, and the fear the Lord. He realized he could never have planned this, the events, the tragedies, the sacrifices. He realized that everything that led him up to this point, and would continue to lead him, passed through the hands of Sendiil first. They were His tools for crafting His people.
“The Psalmanir speaks of Sendiil being our Deliverer. It says that His hand quenches the flame, that He plucks us out of absolute destruction,” the Render paced back across the line of men and women after he had blessed each of the basins. “The only thing the Lord requires of you is faith. Everything else will fall in line when faith is the cornerstone.”
He turned his back and faced the fire. He reached to his shoulder and tore his sleeve off raising it into the air.
“This is your first test of faith. He will test us many times, but if our faith is secure He will always provide,” he tossed his sleeve into the fire consumed it. “Now the question I offer to you is, will you serve a God who offers you love, hope, and justice, and only asks for your faith and love in Him?”
Elias could see that there were tears in his eyes, he looked down into the basin he could see there were tears in his own eyes as well. He had never stepped out in faith before, but he could not deny his own testimony. He decided if he was to serve any god it would be the one who offered up these things, the God of his father.
His hands reached deep into the basin halfway up his forearm, lingered for a moment, then returned to the sides as he stepped forward. He wouldn’t realize this until later, but he was the first to step forward. He stood in front of the licking flames as his hand dripped. He felt his chest flicker, his Instinct rose up within him, he could feel it hesitate.
We cannot strike our enemies if our hands our withered
It knew he had already made up his mind, but it was against its nature to stay quiet sensing the danger he was about to put himself in. Elias couldn’t argue, the only times he acted outside of strategic consideration was out of anger, not faith. He raised his hands over the flames, felt the heat, the heat was real, now was the God? If he was doing this he was going to commit.
Elias pulled his arms back, and thrust them deep into the flames. He grasped for the hottest coals he could reach. His adrenaline was pulsing so heavily that all he could sense was a hissing he heard from within in the fire. He suddenly became aware of his pounding heart and panic filled him. He had just pushed his arms as deep as they would go into the fire! He wrenched his arms out of the flames sending embers and debris into the air, and stumbled backwards falling flat on his back spilling his basin all over himself.
He held his arms over him blinking dumbly as he looked at them. They were blackened and flaky, he rubbed at them furiously. Ashes sprayed his face and hair, but not a single burn was present. He looked up not knowing where else to look. Staring into the blackness he began to see tiny twinkling lights overhead. Elias had never looked into the sky and seen anything other than the black, or dull gray. He watched as one of the countless sparks descended until it hovered over his vessel. With his chin pressed against his chest he nearely crossed his eyes to stare at the light. With a jerk, it dropped into his chest and a subtle glow permeated his vessel.
A sudden buoyancy overcame him causing him to start laughing unintentionally. Unalarmed he just laughed. Amongst the laughter, amongst the shuffling of the others as they headed towards the fire, amongst the intimate disconnection from his situation, a deep resounding voice echoed within him.
You are my son Elias
You were always my son