But ask the beasts, and they will teach you; the birds of the heavens, and they will tell you; or the bushes of the earth, and they will teach you; and the fish of the sea will declare to you. Who among all these does not know that the hand of the Lord has done this? In His hand is the life of every living thing and the breath of all mankind. Job 12:7-10
I could not stop shivering from the cold. Advocate threw His warm coat around my trembling shoulders, but it only helped externally. I felt like ice on the inside. Exhaustion threatened to take me completely, but every time my eyelids closed shut for more than a few seconds, my mind replayed the moment I watched Harper cut the rope and caused me to fall. Fierce anger welled up inside me, but I was still chilled.
Because I genuinely believed that she was starting to be my friend, I never imagined Harper’s actions. I shook my head at my musings. “You have something on your mind?” asked my companion. The sun was setting, but a campfire was already made for the night. I looked at the unfamiliar face with the familiar light shining through His eyes. “Do you have another name?”
He smiled at me knowing I completely avoided his question. “Elyon.”
“Elyon…” I rolled the word in my mouth, and I rather enjoyed the sound of it. I wasn’t sure what the name meant, but I knew I liked it. The name suited the owner. Before I knew what was happening, Elyon placed His hands around my head and blew air into my ears. It only tickled, but I was not expecting that! “I have opened your ears, so you can hear truth.” Elyon continued, “Of course, only you can choose to listen.”
It was very hard not to squirm as Elyon continued to stare at me. Finally, I couldn’t handle it any longer, and voiced my thoughts, “I feel so angry about Harper! She used me to get your letters and tried to kill me. I want payback.”
Elyon slowly closed His eyes. A stranger might think He was falling asleep, but I knew Him well enough that He was showing patience. He was holding back anger. “Melody, only the Judge has the authority to exact justice. Vengeance is mine.” I just stayed silent because deep down I really wanted to contradict Him. How insane is that?
“You were once in the same place as Harper. You were wrapped up in your own world…doing whatever you thought was right.” Elyon’s words really caught my attention. Then I remembered how He saved me during the trial. By all accounts, I should be rotting in jail, but my Advocate intervened. Physically and mentally drained, I finally fell asleep on the ground.
The twittering of birds nearby stirred me from my slumber. Sitting up, I stretched out the kinks in my neck. It was a brand new day. The fire was extinguished, and Elyon disappeared sometime before I woke up. I wasn’t surprised that He had disappeared, but I was disheartened not to have Him by my side physically. Being alone felt foreign. I spied a wrapped bundle where Elyon sat, and I uncovered the cloth to reveal fresh bread. I quickly took a bite, and it tasted heavenly.
Gathering my meager belongings, I began to walk deeper into the unknown domain. With the bridge out, there was no way for me to go back. I had to press on forward. A cynical side of me realized that by being alone I didn’t have to worry about someone trying to kill me or betray me. Maybe keeping everyone but my Father at arm’s length is a good idea…
I kept treading through the forest on foot. When I felt winded, I would just sit down and lean against a tree. Along the way, I stumbled upon a fountain and filled my canteen after taking a few sips of water. My stomach growled in protest, but I knew I had to ration the bread I had. There was no way to know when I could find civilization.
Then I suddenly heard voices! I immediately rushed toward the fading words. Whoever the people were, I could barely keep up on foot. I kept running as I collided into tree branch after tree branch, but I didn’t want to risk my chance for escape. Then I realized something very dismally. I was running in circles. I finally stopped long enough to hear soft chuckles. I was annoyed to say the least. “Ok, very funny. Could you at least show yourself? I just need directions on where to go.”
At first my words seemed to fall on deaf ears. Then I noticed leaves rustling nearby, but I didn’t see anyone. Instead, I saw a deer, raccoon, and a squirrel come toward me. I wasn’t an animal person, but I was really confused about why wild animals would be so bold to go near a human. I nearly collapsed on the spot when I realized that the voices I had heard earlier were coming from the animals not people!
“She doesn’t seem very bright,” spoke the raccoon, but the other two animals ignored him and continued to walk closer to me. If I wanted to, I could easily pet the deer, but I was intimidated by his sharp looking horns. While the deer just stared wide-eyed, the squirrel was not shy at all and spoke directly to me. “I saw what happened to you and what Elyon did for you.” I was on the brink of replying when the deer said something that turned my blood ice cold. “For someone who always getting into trouble, you never told Elyon thank you.”
The shock of forest animals conversing with me was replaced with outrage. How dare they accuse me for not being thankful for all that my Advocate had done for me! Then it dawned on me. I never said the words out loud. Shame abruptly overcame my heart. What a selfish daughter I must be! I didn’t thank Him for the coat, for making me warm, or for the bread He provided. Have I truly been acting as if I am entitled to such lavish treatment? I know I certainly don’t deserve it, but my words and actions said otherwise to the animals who witnessed it all.
I knelt down to get on the level of the animals. “You’re absolutely right. I should have thanked Elyon, and I have no excuse for not doing that,” I said. “I’m still new at being His daughter, but I do want to bring Him glory.”
The squirrel come up to me without hesitation and spoke with his squeaky voice, “Elyon is the Most High King. Even though we are His lowliest of servants, we saw how it all began.”
Then the raccoon added, “Elyon breathed life into this kingdom, but humans destroyed everything that was good.” I could hear the sadness in each word as the deer took over. “Because of the actions of the humans, their ears are deaf, their eyes are blind, and their hearts are hardened to the truth of the kingdom of Elyon.” These animals had knowledge of the heartbreak of Elyon. They saw firsthand how everyone forgot the Most High King. No wonder He opened my ears to hear the truth. Father wants me to learn more about Him, including what breaks His heart.