Elijah’s bedtime routine was a simple one; Roll down the covers, open the window, brush his teeth, say his prayers, and jump into bed and pull the covers up.
All of this done, he laid there, thinking about tomorrow. It was Saturday and he had absolutely no plans……strange for him, for his mom or friends always had something going on.
Well, amen, and off to sleep it was………when he heard a flutter from outside the open window and then a tick-tick, pecking sound on the sill. Must be the wind, was his first thought; but there was not even a light breeze.
As he turned on the light on the table beside him. he saw a big black bird right there nodding his head; And, get this….. He had a small sign on is neck. Now stay with me….Eli got up and cautiously moved closer into the light. It said, plain as day; “ COME WITH ME”. How often do you see that?
Well, what would you do? ……..Go with him, or violate mom’s most basic rules.
Well, no matter, he did it! … but, he left a note; “ Gone with bird. Be back soon”
“That ought to get it” he said, as he looked to the tree outside where the bird had flown, and was impatiently tapping his foot.
Elijah pulled on his sweats, raced down the stairs (quietly) and jumped on his bike as the bird soared off to wherever , dipping down frequently to make sure he had Eli’s attention.
If you are still with me, you might also believe that this went on for hours. It did.
The bird, at last, zoomed down to perch on a rock where he cawed, in perfect English…. “That’s it”.
Eli was totally out of gas….. He dropped to the soft grass, and quickly fell asleep. Moments later, (He thought)…..but now the sun was directly overhead. He then felt a serious nudge on this back, that nearly rolled him over. He opened one eye to reveal the whitest giant stallion he had ever seen.
The beast took him in his mouth by the jersey, and in one quick motion, flipped him upon his bare back; then took off at a blazing gallop. Eli struggled just to hold on to the mane for dear life; his legs hardly making contact with his back.
In what seemed like hours (but maybe 15 minutes) the stallion slid to a stop at the base of a tall mountain peak… whinnied; as if to introduce something.
Eli squinted upward, and….then caught a glimmer of some reflected light that sent stripes across the foliage of the trees below. He immediately climbed toward the source.
Working up through the rocks he spied what it was. It was a helmet…….like those he had seen in the museum made for the gallant knights of long ago. He bent down brushing away the debris. Written on it was the ancient engraved name “Elijah”.
From above him came the whisper-soft message “Put it on.” But, Eli could hardly lift it, and the back of it rested on his shoulders. Again, “Move forward now.” He did. There, lay a beautifully decorated steel breast plate……then beyond …..a giant sword; both inscribed with his name.
Again, the tender voice, called “Elijah, have you read the bible?.
Eli replied, “Yes sir, but I am still learning, and I have teachers”.
The voice questioned, ” Then you know about the full armor of God?”
Eli wondered; ” How can that mean anything to me?” a little boy who cannot even ride a horse, lift a vest plate, or even pick up a sword……and way more than that, has always been told not to fight.
GOD said; “You will grow into these things. You will know what to fight for and where and when to ride. “I’ll keep these things safe, for they are yours’, and I will always give you the strength and mind to use them wisely.”
Just then the alarm on the table beside him rang, and he awakened from this wonderful dream….. He dressed quickly, (but wait; why did he still have his sweats on?) And….. What is that on the dresser with the sun so gleaming down upon it….. that it cast stripes the pattern of a cross spread over the whole ceiling?
It was a large steel cross with the words engraved: “Until then…..grow strong…..be patient” Believe that I AM.
At that moment, Elijah was sure that he heard the beconing whinny of the great white stallion in the yard down below.
So very sure was, that he called down in a shout that shook the window pane;
“I WILL FIND YOU THUNDER; AND I WILL SEEK OUT GOD’S ENEMIES WHENEVER HE CALLS!”
And, the Voice reminded; “What did I just say about patience?”