He lies on a simple mat, surrounded by the grandeur of cedar and gold. It is a chamber of whispers, silences pregnant with the sacred breath of centuries. Even the chance echoes hush their tones in reverence.
In daytime, the temple is filled with crowds of people, priests, rabbis, singers, living and dying animals, ash and ember. Here, in the dark of night, nothing moves but the dancing flame of the Lamp of the Lord. He could not have known that one day this same Fire would descend in tongues upon his heart.
One echo, louder than the rest, coming from such distance that it carries mountains and ravines and the cool breath of waters.
Centuries later, the same breath would hover again over the waters.
This is my Son, whom I love.
Can you hear it now, calling this same boy’s name? Can you sense his hunger to be guided into knowledge of the Lord, to navigate the labyrinth of his heart?
Did you not know that I must be in my Father’s house?
And so he goes to Eli, and to him he will test himself as a prophet: for he will tell the painful truth. Hear the hope and sorrow mingled in Eli’s gentle words, how they too echoes through the centuries.
You will carry the word of God within. And a sword will pierce your own heart, too.
Here I am Lord. Your servant listens.
May it be to me as You have said.